The Folly of MetroLink Expansion
The Show-Me Institute is excited to release a new report by Randal O’Toole, one of the nation’s premier transportation economists. O’Toole’s report is titled, “Is St. Louis Transit Built for the 2020s or the 1910s?”
As Metro prepares to expand MetroLink again, we must ask one simple question. Why? Why are we expanding an expensive system that very few people use when Metro continues to cut its bus system over and over again? The bus system actually serves the people who need and use public transit, unlike MetroLink, which is primarily for those who use transit occasionally for sporting events downtown.
Did you know that the St. Louis area had more transit riders before we built MetroLink than we do now? We spent billions of dollars to build a light-rail system, and fewer people ride transit than before it even existed. What if we had spent a fraction of those billions on building a better bus system? A bus system that gets people who rely on public transit to school, work, the grocery store, and, yes, the ballpark, too.
It’s not too late to stop the latest MetroLink expansion mistake. I hope that O’Toole’s report can be a part of the discussion that convinces St. Louis’s political leadership to redirect our money for transit toward helping residents who depend on transit to go where they need to go every day instead of focusing on getting suburbanites to the soccer game a few times a year.