Bi-state committee creates plan to increase MetroLink safety -

Bi-state committee creates plan to increase MetroLink safety

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MetroLink (Credit: KMOV) MetroLink (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS ( -- Improved safety measures will soon becoming to MetroLink, including increased police presence and controlled access to platforms.  

A committee of elected officials, law enforcement and a Bi-State Development representatives met Monday and unanimously agreed on a series of steps moving forward to increase the safety of MetroLink passengers.

First, a joint law enforcement task force will be created, comprised of officers from St. Louis County, St. Louis City and St. Clair County in Illinois. The number of officers dedicated to the MetroLink will be increased along with the number of patrols.

“Our focus in approving and implementing this plan has been on making and keeping MetroLink safe for all those people who rely on it to get to a job or a doctor’s appointment or an important family event,” Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a statement. “We want everyone to feel safe, especially those who have no other transportation options.”

While the task force will be headquartered at the Delmar Loop MetroLink stop at Washington University, they will have a unified radio system and will be able to operate in all three jurisdictions.

St. Louis County Captain Scott Melies will lead the task force.

Another component of the plan would control access to train platforms. Currently MetroLink operates as an open system, meaning there is no barrier requiring a ticket to access the trains. The task force will work with safety consultants to find the most effective way to control who can reach the platforms, which could be turnstiles or another measure.

“The open design of MetroLink was the region’s least expensive option 30 years ago,” Bi-State Development president John Nations said. “Clearly, now the physical aspects of the system need to be re-evaluated and redesigned.”

The committee will meet again shortly to continue to solidify details. There isn’t yet a clear timetable for when the changes will be implemented.

“We have seen great cooperation from this group and a real desire to improve safety as quickly as possible,” St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said. “There is a lot of work still to be done, but the bottom line is that it will be safer for all who ride MetroLink.”

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