Local developers, community leaders and Metro Transit highlighted the opportunities around developing near transit including bus routes at the latest CMT Talking Transit event. On Thursday, April 29, CMT’s “Can the Bus Drive Development” Panel Discussion highlighted how an integrated bus system can be a driving force for development, positively impacting equity, livability and future regional planning. The program was presented in partnership with the Green Business Challenge and the APA.
During the Talking Transit event, area leaders discussed how community mobility hubs impact the current transit service and ways in which they will be prioritized and geographically disbursed throughout the region with equity a key factor in that disbursement. Panelists include Bill Odell, Principal, 32W, LLC, who is currently working on the Lafayette Square Project; Phil Hulse, Managing Principal of Green Street of St. Louis; Bryan Rogers, Director of Long-Range Planning for Metro Transit/Bi-State Development; Rachel Witt, Executive Director of South Grand Community Improvement District; and John Langa, Vice President of Economic Development at Bi-State Development.
“When discussing transit-oriented development in the St. Louis region, we are usually talking about progress being made near MetroLink,” commented Kimberly Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “However new trends are emerging, and it is important to realize how bus systems can help us develop communities.”
Panelists highlighted the opportunities around multi-modal sites in St. Louis and the connectivity that continues to build with the addition of greenways, frequent bus lines, and trails. According to Bryan Rogers, successful placemaking will require a variety of partnerships. The community mobility hub focus at Metro Transit will incorporate a variety of service enhancements to improve safety, attractiveness, proximity to housing and businesses, walkability and bike friendliness. Hulse stated that ADA and walkability are key components of any GreenStreet STL design project.
“Everyone needs to take a moment and make one small change in their life to look at transit in a different way. We all need to try to make small changes and a new experience with transit. Take one day and decide not to touch your keys. Decide to take the bus or MetroLink and see what type of experience you have,” said Witt.