Metro Link Expansion comments via Next Door/Steve Butz
A comprehensive, well planned expansion of Metro Link might be part of the key to revitalization of the metro area, but I am not sure it is the highest priority that the region faces. Most of the positive comments for expansion centered on cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco etc.....These cities do have great mass transit and I have used it many times when there, but it is an unfair comparison. The St Louis metropolitan area ranks about 20th in the nation with an MSA (metropolitan statistical area) population of about 2.5 million and flat growth. Tampa (+7%), Denver (11%), Charlotte NC (9%), Austin Tx (16.5%), Nashville (9%), Kansas City (4%), Indianapolis (5%) Baltimore (3%) are all better comparisons for our city. Four of these cities, Denver, Baltimore, Charlotte, and Austin have light rail systems the other four do not.
I would especially encourage considering how Kansas City and Indianapolis have increased mass transit into and out of their main business and entertainment districts using buses/trolley type system that run very much like street cars did.....(now I am showing my age!). In KC for example they will run a bus every 15 minutes during peak times. It is called the MAX and it runs non-stop on Main Street and other key corridors. Indianapolis is investing in the same concept (goINDY) and they are using electric buses but they will function very similar to the street car lines of old. Their top reasons listed for this approach vs light rail is, (according to their website) cheaper to "build" since they are using current roads, and the infrastructure improvements of sidewalks, street lighting, pedestrian/bike lanes, beautification of the routes benefit everyone.
With the tremendous infrastructure issues that St Louis faces in terms of new street lighting, roads, bridges, the deterioration of the stonework along River Des Peres etc.....Just saying maybe we should renovate/properly maintain the "house we have" before we consider a major addition.