St. Louis Call Newspapers

Metro board approves $243 million fiscal ’12 budget

A fiscal 2012 operating budget of $243.1 million to run the Metro transit system was approved Friday by the Board of Commissioners.

Higher gas prices will be one significant impact on the cost of operations for fiscal 2012, which begins July 1, according to a news release. The agency purchases roughly 6 million gallons of fuel annually, and the overall increase in fuel cost is expected to be $6 million for the year.

Higher operating expenses also include an 8-percent increase in parts and supplies due primarily to the volatility of metal prices, the release stated.

Metro fares will remain the same in fiscal 2012 in an effort to continue to encourage ridership growth that was curtailed following the 2009 service cuts. The agency projects that stable prices will generate an increase in passenger revenue due to ridership growth.

 Metro President and CEO John Nations stated the agency continues to operate under tight spending and budget restrictions, and that the agency will continue to improve the efficiency of operations. 

The board also approved Metro’s budget for capital projects that include the replacement, rehabilitation and modernization of infrastructure, vehicles, equipment and systems.

A major project included in the budget is the construction of a new Scott Avenue Transit Plaza at the Grand MetroLink Station.

The fiscal 2012 budget also allocates resources to begin planning for such future transit projects as Bus Rapid Transit and other initiatives identified in Metro’s long-range plan for transit in the region.  Completion of expansion projects also will require funds from federal sources.

Metro will end fiscal 2011 roughly $4.5 million under budget. The release stated that during fiscal 2011, Metro made significant achievements including: 

∞ Restoration of the transit system footprint following the passage of Proposition A in St. Louis County.

∞ Adding an Economic Development Division committed to promoting economic development to improve the region and public transportation.

∞ Receiving American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to rehabilitate the Eads Bridge.

∞ Dedicating the new Fire and Emergency Management Facility at the agency’s St. Louis Downtown Airport.

∞ Beginning to rebuild the fleet by taking delivery of 50 new reduced emissions, low-floor buses.

Metro’s budget and financial reporting processes continue to win recognition. The Government Finance Officers Association last week notified Metro that it will receive a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. This Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.  Other awards and recognition received by Metro and staff this fiscal year include:

∞ Second place from the International Association of Public Participation for the innovative program used by Metro to create the region’s first 30-year long range plan.

∞ Jessica Mefford-Miller, chief of planning system development, named to the “Top 30 Business People Under 30 in the St. Louis Region” list by the St. Louis Business Journal.

∞ Deb Erickson, vice president and chief information officer, received “Most Influential Business Women Award” by the St. Louis Business Journal.

∞ Patricia Hall, director of ADA services, was recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal with the “Diverse Business Leader Award.”

∞ Michael Mavrogeorge, fire chief at St. Louis Downtown Airport, received the “Airport Fire Rescue Achievement Award” by the American Association of Airport Executives.

    Metro board approves $243 million fiscal ’12 budget

    A fiscal 2012 operating budget of $243.1 million to run the Metro transit system was approved Friday by the Board of Commissioners.

    Higher gas prices will be one significant impact on the cost of operations for fiscal 2012, which begins July 1, according to a news release. The agency purchases roughly 6 million gallons of fuel annually, and the overall increase in fuel cost is expected to be $6 million for the year.

    Higher operating expenses also include an 8-percent increase in parts and supplies due primarily to the volatility of metal prices, the release stated.

    Metro fares will remain the same in fiscal 2012 in an effort to continue to encourage ridership growth that was curtailed following the 2009 service cuts. The agency projects that stable prices will generate an increase in passenger revenue due to ridership growth.

     Metro President and CEO John Nations stated the agency continues to operate under tight spending and budget restrictions, and that the agency will continue to improve the efficiency of operations. 

    The board also approved Metro’s budget for capital projects that include the replacement, rehabilitation and modernization of infrastructure, vehicles, equipment and systems.

    A major project included in the budget is the construction of a new Scott Avenue Transit Plaza at the Grand MetroLink Station.

    The fiscal 2012 budget also allocates resources to begin planning for such future transit projects as Bus Rapid Transit and other initiatives identified in Metro’s long-range plan for transit in the region.  Completion of expansion projects also will require funds from federal sources.

    Metro will end fiscal 2011 roughly $4.5 million under budget. The release stated that during fiscal 2011, Metro made significant achievements including: 

    ∞ Restoration of the transit system footprint following the passage of Proposition A in St. Louis County.

    ∞ Adding an Economic Development Division committed to promoting economic development to improve the region and public transportation.

    ∞ Receiving American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to rehabilitate the Eads Bridge.

    ∞ Dedicating the new Fire and Emergency Management Facility at the agency’s St. Louis Downtown Airport.

    ∞ Beginning to rebuild the fleet by taking delivery of 50 new reduced emissions, low-floor buses.

    Metro’s budget and financial reporting processes continue to win recognition. The Government Finance Officers Association last week notified Metro that it will receive a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. This Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.  Other awards and recognition received by Metro and staff this fiscal year include:

    ∞ Second place from the International Association of Public Participation for the innovative program used by Metro to create the region’s first 30-year long range plan.

    ∞ Jessica Mefford-Miller, chief of planning system development, named to the “Top 30 Business People Under 30 in the St. Louis Region” list by the St. Louis Business Journal.

    ∞ Deb Erickson, vice president and chief information officer, received “Most Influential Business Women Award” by the St. Louis Business Journal.

    ∞ Patricia Hall, director of ADA services, was recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal with the “Diverse Business Leader Award.”

    ∞ Michael Mavrogeorge, fire chief at St. Louis Downtown Airport, received the “Airport Fire Rescue Achievement Award” by the American Association of Airport Executives.

      South St. Louis County News
      Metro board approves $243 million fiscal ’12 budget