If you’ve ever had an opinion about transit in St. Louis – what kind of vehicles are used, where those vehicles should go, whether there should be restrooms at transfer facilities, whether you like the idea of commuter rail trains or accordion-style buses – tonight is the night to come out and give it. Tonight Metro and the Moving Transit Forward team is holding the first of its transit planning Public Workshops:
The event is scheduled for two hours, but the workshops are set up so that people can come and go as they are able. There won’t be any big speeches or a single Q&A session. Instead, you will be conducted through six workstations by members of the Planning Department and other Metro Staff and Moving Transit Forward team members. The workstations will help acquaint you with the purpose of the planning, the technologies and enhancements that are available, and the costs of implementing and operating any service enhancements – Transit 101. At the end, you will be a newly-minted regional transit planner.
At the final workstation, you will sit down with a map and some colored pencils and draw out your preferred transit system, and work your way through a financial exercise to help you prioritize where you would spend money on transit. At every station there will be people available to answer any questions you have and take any feedback you would like to give. Metro will collect the maps and financial worksheets at the end of your session. If the entire exercise only takes you ten minutes, you can come and go in ten minutes. If you want to stay for the entire two hours, ask a lot of questions, and see what other people are wishing for transit in St. Louis, you are free to do that as well.
Why is Metro collecting the maps and financial worksheet? Because the planning team will use this data to gauge the transit preferences of the St. Louis region.
What does it mean for me to become a regional transit planner? Your voice will be heard in the planning process, and you will be helping to shape the economic development of the region for the next three decades. Your voice is critical to this process and, depending on turnout at the workshops, you may have a chance to have a very large impact on transit.
How can I follow up on developments in the plan? You will be able to sign up to receive email updates as the plan progresses (sign up online by registering at MovingTransitForward.org), including announcements of the next two rounds of public input. You can also follow this blog, subscribe to the RSS feed, follow the Transit Plan on Twitter (@STLTransitPlan), and visit the long-range planning website at www.MovingTransitForward.org.