Metal Detector Pilot Program Coming to MetroLink
[MAY 3, 2023/ST. LOUIS, MO] Bi-State Development, the parent organization of Metro Transit, announced today it is launching a pilot program with metal detectors at select MetroLink stations in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County in Missouri and St. Clair County in Illinois. Transit riders will walk through metal detectors to gain access to MetroLink platforms. The mobile metal detectors will be rotated through various MetroLink locations in Missouri and Illinois. The pilot program will be in partnership with Metro Transit’s three law enforcement partners – the St. Louis County Police Department, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, and the St. Clair County Police Department. Police officers will assist in staffing the metal detector checkpoints.
“We are constantly making security adjustments and upgrades so that our customers and team members feel safer on the system,” said Taulby Roach, President and CEO of Bi-State Development. “This is a new security element and yet another tool we can use to enhance the Secure Platform Plan project moving forward to help make our mobile transit community safer.”
Roach also announced today Metro Transit will be spending up to $750,000 in overtime for officers from the three law enforcement partners to patrol trains and MetroLink platforms this summer when more riders are anticipated to be on the transit system taking MetroLink to sporting events, concerts and festivals, especially in the downtown St. Louis corridor. MetroLink customers have asked for more police officers to be on the trains and MetroLink platforms, and officers working overtime will increase the visibility of law enforcement partners on the system over the summer months.
Last week, Kevin Scott, General Manager of Security at Bi-State Development, updated the Board of Commissioners on the progress of the $52 million Secure Platform Plan.
“The Secure Platform Plan is part of a multi-tiered strategy to grow ridership and deliver a stronger transit experience by creating centralized, highly secure customer entrances at all 38 MetroLink stations, and the new station that will be built at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport,” said Scott. “The MetroLink system, which opened in 1993, is an open access system, and that means there are no barriers to prevent anyone from just walking onto the MetroLink platforms. All stations will be converted into a closed access system so high-security gates and fencing will limit the access to the platforms and the trains to customers with valid transit passes and tickets.”
Valid fare options will open security gates so customers can safely access the MetroLink platforms. The first four stations slated to receive the new security gating and new fencing will be at the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center, College, Emerson Park and Washington Park MetroLink Stations in St. Clair County. The updated security measures at these first four stations as part of the Secure Platform Plan are currently in the design phase, and bids for construction should go out in late summer, with construction to commence later this year. Construction is expected to be completed next spring at the first four stations.
The project has been divided into a total of six construction packages, comprised of four to eight MetroLink stations each. The second group of stations to receive the high-security gates and fencing are the Forest Park-DeBaliviere, Central West End, Cortex, Grand, Union Station, Civic Center and Delmar Loop MetroLink Stations. The design phase for this group is scheduled to be completed in Fall 2023, with construction at those six MetroLink stations expected to be completed in Summer 2024.