Bids Requested for First Construction Package of Metro Transit’s $52-Million Secure Platform Plan for MetroLink
A $52-million project to control access onto MetroLink platforms on the 46-mile light rail system is moving steadily forward with the request for quotes for the installation of secure gates and fencing at four MetroLink stations in St. Clair County. The project is the first of several construction packages tied to Metro Transit’s Secure Platform Plan. Construction and installation under the first package will take place at the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center Station, College Station, Emerson Park Station and Washington Park MetroLink Station, and all work is expected to be completed in Spring 2024. Bids are due by September 5.
The Secure Platform Plan is a multi-tiered security strategy to grow ridership and create a more secure environment for transit riders by creating centralized and highly secure entrances. Platform access would be granted only through paid fare – and access to station platforms controlled through integrated fare collection gates. Secure gates and fencing will be installed in phases at 38 MetroLink stations as well as the new MetroLink station coming to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport.
Access to each MetroLink station is unique, with different platform entrances and exits, requiring a phased approach to the Secure Platform Plan. The implementation divided into six construction packages comprised of four to eight MetroLink stations each. Each of the six construction packages will be put out for bid in a phased approach so that gates and fencing would be underway at some stations while design on another group of stations would be going on at the same time. The second group of stations will focus on the Forest Park-DeBaliviere, Central West End, Cortex, Grand, Union Station, Civic Center and Delmar Loop MetroLink Stations. The design phase for that package is scheduled to be completed later this year, with construction at those seven MetroLink stations expected to be completed in Summer 2024.
“Our riders and the region can be reassured that their safety and security on the MetroLink system remains our top priority and is the driving force behind our transition from an open-access light rail system into a closed-access system,” said Taulby Roach, Bi-State Development President and CEO. “We appreciate and value the private sector support of this important regional project.”
Metro Transit collaborated with design consultant HNTB to identify the most appropriate gating and fencing solutions for the Secure Platform Plan. HNTB’s primary recommendation of a roto-gate, complemented by a swing gate for ADA and emergency access was selected by Metro Transit. Following a comprehensive analysis and scoring criteria, welded-wire fencing was chosen and it will provide both optimal security and visual appeal for MetroLink.
A Real Time Camera Center is operational and uses cutting-edge technology to further ensure the safety of customers and team members. From the Real Time Camera Center, the Metro Public Safety team and officers from the St. Louis County Police Department have instant access to 800 live cameras located throughout the transit system as well as a direct connection to dispatchers, making it quick and seamless to send Public Safety or law enforcement resources where they may be needed. The number of cameras will expand to 1,600 as the Secure Platform Plan moves forward, with additional cameras planned for each MetroLink platform and future plans to add live camera feeds to Metro Transit vehicles. The system already connects to existing security cameras found at all Bi-State Development and Metro Transit facilities.
“The significantly increased visibility this new camera center offers is another key component of our enhanced security platform, and it’s already making a major difference in the few months it has been operational,” said Kevin Scott, General Manager of Security for Bi-State Development. “The Secure Platform Plan is also garnering national attention as other cities want to know how the St. Louis region is changing the dynamic around MetroLink security. This bold program puts us on a new path that we anticipate others will follow.”
More than $10 million in private funding has been committed to the $52 million Secure Platform Plan project.
“Our RBC Board and the business community feel the SPP project is extremely important for the St. Louis region, and that is why the business leaders we represent have invested in it financially. Infrastructure is very important to business because you have to be able to efficiently move product around and to move people to the jobs that are available,” said Kathy Osborn, Executive Director of the Regional Business Council. “From the business community’s perspective, this project is an economic imperative. All citizens of our region have to have access to public transportation, especially those residents who do not have easy access to cars. We feel it is critical for people to feel confident enough to use public transportation so they feel welcome and comfortable when riding on MetroLink trains.”