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New transit boss says Metro must never take public trust for granted

John Nations
File photo
John Nations

By Matt Sepic, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – John Nations will step down as mayor of Chesterfield to take over as president of the transit agency Metro.

Nations led the successful effort to pass a new transit sales tax in St. Louis County earlier this year.

A similar tax effort failed in 2008, after Metro lost millions in a lawsuit to recoup cost overruns from the MetroLink expansion.

Nations says the passage of Proposition A in April shows that voters trust Metro with their money. But he says the agency must never take that trust for granted.

"We're a public service," Nations said. "And people pay their hard-earned tax dollars for that service. And our challenge every day is to make sure they're getting their money's worth for their hard-earned tax dollars, that it's operated in a financially responsible manner, and we're looking at how we're using that to grow the region and create a good job base."

Nations said completing the restoration of last year's service cuts will be his biggest challenge. He starts his new job in late October.

While he did not offer specifics, Nations said bus rapid transit and further expansions of MetroLink are on his to-do list. However he said completing the restoration of bus service following the passage of Proposition A is his first priority.