Director of Communications
The Metro Board of Commissioners approved an operating budget for Metro Transit, Business Enterprises and Executive Services of $262.5 million for Fiscal Year 2013 which includes plans to move forward with a fare increase for transit postponed from 2010. The FY 2013 budget allocates resources to run the transit system and all enterprises for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012 with a 2.8 percent increase over last year’s operating budget, with the transit increases due primarily to fuel and benefit costs such as medical expenses.
Metro transit fares will increase at the start of the new fiscal year in July. The Agency has not implemented a fare increase since 2009. Today the Board told the Operations team to go ahead with meetings scheduled for the week of April 16 to discuss fare proposals with the public. After public comments, the new fare structure will be finalized.
The Board also approved Metro’s budget for Capital projects that include the replacement, rehabilitation and modernization of infrastructure, vehicles, equipment and systems over a three year period. Major projects included in the budget are the rehabilitation of the historic Eads Bridge, the construction of Scott Avenue Transit Plaza, Integrated Fare System Upgrade, Radio System Replacement, North County Transfer Center and Downtown Transfer Center. The FY 2013 budget also allocates resources to begin planning for future transit projects such as Bus Rapid Transit and other initiatives indentified in Metro’s long range transit plan.
New Leadership and Agency Recognition
Also at the meeting, Commissioner David Dietzl was elected the new Chairman of Metro’s Board of Commissioners, effective immediately, replacing Commissioner Vincent Schoemehl as Chairman. Constance Gully was elected Vice Chair, Michael Buehlhorn was elected Treasurer, and Kevin Cahill continues as Secretary.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) presented Metro with its prestigious “Gold Standard” rating for demonstrating the highest level of excellence for commitment to security and passenger safety. Nations said, “Our top priority at Metro Transit is to move people safely and securely.”
Metro President and CEO John Nations was presented the Patriot Award for his extraordinary support and Metro’s support of Metro employees serving in the Missouri National Guard and Reserve. The Missouri Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, made the presentation.
Metro Call-A-Ride Operator Dale Dean was recognized by Nations for his bravery and for putting the lives of others ahead of his own in February. Dean alerted a Berkeley resident that her home was on fire. She attended the meeting today and thanked him, hugged him, and called him a hero for saving her life.
MetroLink Transit Service Manager Amos Armour was recognized by Nations for going above and beyond the call of duty. He assisted a law enforcement officer with the arrest of a fare evader on a train in January.