Good news for Metro St. Louis and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority
– a bill that passed the Senate late yesterday included language that will allow transit agencies in large cities to use some of their stimulus funding in a way that will help them to preserve services and avoid layoffs. A provision included in the legislation will make it possible for transit agencies to use up to 10 percent of their stimulus funding for operation costs. Last week, McCaskill asked that funding be available for operational costs, rather than for construction and capitol improvements only. The
legislation goes to House-Senate negotiations next, and we will keep you
updated on its progress.
READ MORE ABOUT MCCASKILL’S REQUEST
We still have a LONG way to go before Metro can even begin to restore a fragment of service they've lost, but with The possibility of some money from the State of Missouri to help fund the transit system, there is a faint glimmer of hope that some service might be resorted.
I'm being a bit more pragmatic than some only because both Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and President Obama have the final say on if the money will flow to Metro or not. Beyond that, the people who run Metro and their sometimes unpredictable Board Of Commissioiners need to finalize the services changes they're currently pimping on their website and actully make them happen.
Let's just hope the hard work of Senator McCaskill, the few people who really care about mass transit in St. Louis, and others isn't negated by the incompetent leadership at Metro.
UPDATE MAY 23 ">The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that Metro plans to use the state money to restore and expand routes in August.
Again, one can only hope all this news is true, the bills that will provide the money will be signed by the President and Governor, and that Metro doesn't manage to find a way to screw things up.
A man can dream.