Thursday, April 01, 2010

St. Louis ponders Proposition A for transit funding

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Voters in St. Louis County (Mo.) going to the polls April 6 will address the status of Proposition A, levying a half-cent sales tax to support the region’s Metrolink light rail, Metrobus, and call-a-ride services.

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Voters rejected a similar proposal in November 2008, and Metro Transit-St. Louis subsequently cut transit service in March 2009.  Advocates of Proposition A say its passage will head off any additional service cuts.

Adella Jones, spokeswoman for citizens group Advance St. Louis, is optimistic on the latest measure’s passage due to the impact of the previous measure’s rejection on everyday service. "If you go back to the service reductions that were put in place … people began to understand the value of Metro," Jones said. "Now people see that it doesn't matter if you ride. Someone in this community who has no other [transportation] access does ride."

Supporters of Propostion A include local universities, preservation groups, tourist attractions, and many mayors and cities within St. Louis County, as well as Advance St. Louis and the Greater St. Louis Transit Alliance.

If the measure fails to pass, Jones said, Metro may have to halve its current service.