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Metro begins to develop first long-term plan

By Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – The public transit company Metro is embarking on a process to develop a first-ever long-range plan.

Officials held the first meeting on the plan today. This one was for community leaders. Metro president Bob Baer says they're trying to find consensus on what the public wants the agency to provide.

"There has to be a plan for the region that everyone agrees to because right now there are multiple plans and no one really know which one is, quote, the official plan."

Baer says they want to have their plan in place in the hope that St. Louis County will place a one-half-cent transit sales tax on the ballot in April. A similar referendum was rejected by county voters in November.

Brentwood mayor Pat Kelly says Metro needs also spell the changes it will make in the short-term.

"I think from a voter's perspective, they want to see what the benefit's going to be to them. You know, a 30-year plan unfortunately a lot of us won't be here in 30 years and it's not as important to them when they go to the polls as how it's going to affect them and what's going to be the benefit to them," Kelly said.

Metro will hold eight "public engagement meetings" in October:

-October 13 World Trade Center, Clayton

-October 14 Chesterfield City Hall

-October 15 Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club, St. Louis

-October 17 Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville

-October 19 St. Louis Community College, Florissant Valley

-October 22 Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis

-October 26 St. Louis Public Library, Carpenter Branch

-October 27 Mehlville High School Library