Early Morning Effort Designed to Help Keep Commuters Warm and Spread Holiday Cheer
Transit is a viable transportation option in the St. Louis region, especially in the winter months and during inclement weather. To help keep commuters warm, and spread a little holiday cheer, the MetroLink Police Unit is teaming up with Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT), Metro Transit and the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL) to host a “Stay Toasty on Transit” event. On Wednesday, Dec. 19, from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., police officers from St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Clair County, as well as security staff from Metro Public Safety, will be at the North Hanley MetroLink Station handing out free hats and/or gloves to those in need, while representatives from CMT, Metro Transit and UMSL serve hot chocolate and cookies to commuters. New and lightly used coats and blankets will also be collected for a local charity.
“As part of the transit community, we appreciate the opportunity to meet and interact with more of our passengers during events like ‘Stay Toasty on Transit,’” said Captain Scott Melies, commander of the Bureau of Transit Police. “It reminds riders that we’re out here in the cold with them. And, the ability to provide a hat or a pair of gloves to someone is especially gratifying to our officers.”
The MetroLink Police Unit, CMT, Metro Transit and UMSL are all members of the Transit Advisory Working Group (TAWG), which was established to help improve safety and security on MetroLink and restore public confidence in St. Louis’ public transportation system. Other TAWG members include the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788, SEIU Local 1, Organization for Black Struggle, East-West Gateway Council of Governments, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Washington University, St. Louis Community College and St. Louis Regional Chamber, and as well as prosecutors and law enforcement from the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Clair County.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Metro Public Safety and our law enforcement partners to have positive interactions with our customers,” commented Jessica Mefford-Miller, executive director of Metro Transit. “Building better relationships with our riders will help create a safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable transit experience for everyone.”
Kimberly Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit, added, “Public transportation is sole means by which many get to and from work daily, and a safe and secure system is paramount. Part of the purpose behind the ‘Stay Toasty on Transit’ event is to remind riders there’s a MetroLink Police Unit dedicated to the system, with police officers who care about the community.”
If you can’t make it out to the event but would like to donate a new/gently used jacket or blanket, you can drop it off at the CMT office in the TRex Bulding. 911 Washington Ave., Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63101.