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St. Louis Metrolink - Plans for Downtown Loop, North, South, and West Line Advance

METROLINK



Planning for new MetroLink extensions advances
By Phil Sutin
Of the Post-Dispatch
07/30/2005


The federal highway bill includes $410 million for two expansions, including one from downtown to points north, west and south.

Plans for expanding MetroLink took two steps forward this week, but money to build future projects still is not in sight.

Congress authorized spending $410 million for two expansions in a six-year, $286.5 billion transportation bill. The House passed the measure, and the Senate followed suit.

The East-West Gateway Council of Governments hired a team of consultants on Wednesday to plan part of an expansion north, south and west from downtown St. Louis.

The projects in the transportation bill call for spending:

$275 million for 28 miles of an expansion north, south and west of downtown St. Louis. If fully developed, the expansion would extend MetroLink from a loop in downtown St. Louis north to St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, south to Interstate 55 near the South County shopping mall and west to West Port Plaza.

$135 million for 11 miles of an extension of MetroLink south of Shrewsbury. That expansion would go along either the Burlington Northern Railroad right of way or the River Des Peres to Interstate 55, ending at Butler Hill Road. Metro is building an extension to Shrewsbury from Forest Park that it expects to open by Oct. 31 next year.

The importance of Congress' action is not the money, but putting the projects on the bureaucratic and political table for future action. Before construction begins, lawmakers have to appropriate the federal share and regional officials have to come up with the local one.

However, the money in the federal authorizations may not be close to the cost of the two expansions. The highest cost estimate of the extension south of Shrewsbury is $700 million, and engineers have yet to determine the cost of the north-south-west extension.

Money from a quarter-cent transit sales tax in St. Louis and St. Louis County, the main source for local financing of MetroLink expansion, is tied up retiring bonds for an expansion now under construction.

Reporter Phil Sutin
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 314-863-2812

 

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Very good news for St. Louis--it will definitely aid the rebuilding of the center city. now I just wonder if the rest of the money will be forthcoming in the future, to actually finish the projects. It seems like many cities around the US hit the jackpot with transit funding in this bill...
 

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St. Louis (USA) MetroLink LightRail Images

Here are a few images I took of MetroLink, put together over the months.



 

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looks really cool the metrolink, btw nice to see you on this forum Xing500 :eek:kay:
 

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St. Louis' light rail system gaining popularity with developers
24 June 2007

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Ridership in the St. Louis region's light rail system is rising steadily, and developers are capitalizing on mass transit's popularity.

Developers of a 550-acre office, industrial and retail development in St. Louis County are only half a mile from a MetroLink station.

And they've pledged $3 million toward a new station planned for the project site.

"I enjoy telling people we will be served by two MetroLink stations," said Chris McKee, president of McEagle Properties. "I really see it as a competitive advantage."

Other developers are pitching proximity to the St. Louis region's light-rail system as a bonus for tenants. Projects worth about $750 million are being built or planned near MetroLink stations, as developers capitalize on heightened interest in mass transit.

The MetroLink system opened its first line in July 1993.

In April, almost 81,000 people rode the light-rail system every day, up from 65,663 in April 2006. Ridership was projected to exceed 86,000 daily passengers by 2020, but that should happen by 2010, Larry Salci, Metro's president and chief executive, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Nearly 21.9 million riders are expected to use MetroLink this year, a 32 percent increase over the almost 16.6 million last year.

The addition last August of the 8.2-mile cross county extension, along with realigning the bus routes that feed MetroLink, has helped to increase ridership, Salci said.

"Connectivity is what was missing before," he said.

As a result, Salci said, more developers are working with MetroLink to create mixed-use developments -- those that include offices, retail and residential components -- with access to public transportation.

"MetroLink is becoming a marketing tool," Salci said.

It was for NorthPark, as developers tried to attract the national headquarters and main campus of Vatterott College, whose students rely on public transportation. They succeeded, and construction has started.

The light-rail system also is getting attention from people such as Ryan Wachter, a professional who finds it a convenient alternative to cars.

Wachter, 27, is buying a condo in the St. Louis suburb, Brentwood, less than two blocks from the MetroLink station.

He uses it regularly to get to work, baseball games and to the airport.

One developer's marketing materials tout it as a "Transit Oriented Development," capitalizing on its location near a MetroLink station.

Such developments are cropping up all over the nation, said Thomas Bisacquino, president of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.

"People will pay a premium to be in a good-size mixed-use infill project with access to mass transit," he said.

Reconstruction of Highway 40 in St. Louis and its suburbs, and impending road closures, have created a greater awareness about public transportation, and it is much higher on people's priority lists, said Andrew Checkley, project manager for a condominium development.
 

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Oh No He Didn't
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how does one transfer from the Gateway station to Metrolink? Is there a spooky walk through an abandoned parking lot?
The Civic Center Metrolink basically stops just right outside the complex, not that far of a walk.
 
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