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St. Louis Metro Unveils Facility and Bus Service; Redesign Provides More Frequent, Direct Bus Routes

Officials of Metro in St. Louis held ribbon-cutting ceremonies March 10 to mark the completion of the North County Transit Center in Ferguson, MO, joined by FTA Region 7 Administrator Mokhtee Ahmad, ­Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.

The transit center opened to the public March 14, the same day as a completely redesigned MetroBus service plan for north St. Louis County. The area accounts for almost 20 percent of all MetroLink and MetroBus boardings and the new service plan provides more frequent and more direct service, faster transfers and connections to more destinations for many passengers who live, work, do business or travel in the area.

“We’ve always known that transportation and access to opportunities is a key to economic growth and success,” said John Nations, president and chief executive officer of Bi-State Development, which oversees Metro. “More than five years ago, we identified this area of north St. Louis County as the perfect spot for this type of investment.”

The new transit hub serves nine MetroBus routes and Metro Call-A-Ride. Amenities include an indoor, climate-controlled waiting area, digital arrival-time display boards, a free park-and-ride lot and ticket vending machines. A café will open this summer.

Metro designed the transit center to evolve as the region’s transportation needs change. The facility can accommodate 40-foot and 60-foot articulated buses, electric buses and serve as a BRT terminal point with little modification, as well as a dispatch center and maintenance facility if federal funding can be secured in the future.

“Transportation and access to employment, businesses, education, healthcare—it’s the lifeblood of the region,” Stenger said. “The continued success and growth of St. Louis County depends on good, reliable transportation for everyone, which is what makes projects like the North County Transit Center so important.”

FTA Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds and Urbanized Area Formula funds accounted for 80 percent of the $10.28 million total project cost, matched with local resources.

Preparing to cut the ribbon at St. Louis Metro’s North County Transit Center, from left: St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger; Ray Friem, Metro executive director; FTA Region 7 Administrator Mokhtee Ahmad; Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III; and John Nations, president and chief executive officer of Bi-State Development, which oversees Metro.
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