By. Chris Stritzel
Ever since the murder on the Metrolink happened the other day, a lot of people have been calling, including myself, for the Metrolink system to be suspended. For myself however, I see the suspension as something that is a must (when done station by station) in order to give the metro system a greater feel of safety in the Long run. We just need a plan that will modernize the current MetroLink system since it was first opened about 24 years ago. A lot of the same technology and practices from 1993 are still in use. That technology and those practices are what is bringing down our system from being safe.
Below is my full plan that I wish metro will see if they wish to have a safe and modern MetroLink system for every person in the city of St. Louis. Whether that is if you live here or if you're a visitor, the MetroLink system should be a reliable and safe source of transportation for your needs.
1. The suspension of all 6 stations on both routes. By shutting down the services for about a week per 6 stations, we can dramatically change the way that the metro system works.
2. Install turnstiles at all stations. Putting turn styles in that are impossible jump or crawl under what ensure that people who are trying to make a run from the police cannot board the train.
3. Increase the fare card charges. The current price for fare cards on the metro are so cheap that most people just skip the fare purchase box and board the train immediately. That is not acceptable. We need to up the price of those cards so that we can afford to put security on the trains and make improvements in the future.
4. Like the Kansas City streetcar, we need a police officer on the train cars at night. Police officer over there stands or sits up at the front of the train and looks back on the people to make sure that nothing is going wrong. This will give the rider at night a greater sense of safety on the train, then they will be more likely to continue to ride the system.
5. Improve the lighting at all Metrolink station platforms. By improving the lighting in making a brighter we can have the cameras that are on the platforms see more issues that may take place.
6. There needs to be more security at the Metrolink stations. I know that they're already are some security members there but not enough for the system of the size.
7. After all of these ideas are met and implemented, the systems stations can re-open to the public one by one. Following this re-opening process, metro needs to run an ad campaign to ensure the people of St. Louis and visitors to the city to not worry about safety concerns on metro.
And of course if all seven of these ideas work, then metro can consider extending the MetroLink on the North-South line. But it should not be done in the form of a streetcar like they currently want to do, they should run it on either elevated tracks or protected tracks so no one can avoid paying the fare card prices to board the train. But what about modernizing the system?
The train cars themselves needed to be upgraded especially the ones from 1993. Is other light rail services across the nation get new train cars for their ever-growing passenger count, our service things to think about upgrading our train cars as well. Our new train cars should be more well lit and then ours are currently, hold more people, have more security cameras, and also be fully connected an integrated like the Kansas City streetcar. And example of this is seen below on what the interior of the Kansas City streetcar looks like.
I fully believe that a great transit system system can only strengthen cities not hurt them. But in a city like ours that is already struggling enough, we need a new, modern looking system. By modernizing the system we can transform the way that everything works on it. I am sure anymore developers will be likely to build a major development along side of the transit Corridor if it is safe and reliable. If it is not, it will drive down the economic engine. So today, I am trying to make the case for metro to consider doing one of these eight recommendations that I wrote about in this post. If they follow any of these, I am sure that we will have more people riding the system, building along the MetroLink Corridors, and even enjoying the transit system just for the fun of it.