Two sources of funding secured last week will allow the Metro transit agency to move forward with plans to restore about one-third of the services it cut earlier this year.
Gov. Jay Nixon last week signed a $12 million, one-time federal stimulus appropriation to Metro to fund restorations.
In addition, the agency learned last week it would receive about $7 million over two years in Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality, or CMAQ, grant money from the Federal Transit Administration. The CMAQ grant, which requires a 20-percent local match, would partly fund additional and enhanced Metro-Bus service not included in the first two versions of the restoration plan.
“With the addition of the federal CMAQ funds, Metro has been able to add two additional routes, enhance service on all five CMAQ routes and add limited service to other local routes,” under the revised plan.
Restored services would begin operating Aug. 3. However, the changes are temporary unless the agency finds more money; Metro officials plan for restorations to end next June when funds are depleted.
A $70 million budget shortfall this year led to the discontinuation on March 30 of some 24 bus routes and halted curb-to-curb van service for disabled riders in south and west county outside of Interstate 270. Cuts totaled roughly $35 million.
The Metro Board of Commissioners approved the first restoration plan in May.
Officials subsequently sought public comment and unveiled an updated plan June 12, followed by the third update last week, which included the CMAQ funds.
Commissioners weren’t required to vote on the latest update, which was presented at the June 26 board meeting.
For south county residents, the restoration plan reinstates MetroBus routes No. 17 Oakville Laclede Station and No. 40X I-55 Mehlville Express.
No. 17 Oakville Laclede Station will provide service between Oakville and the Shrewsbury MetroLink Station. From Baumgartner, north on Telegraph, east to Sylvan Springs Park, west on Sheridan into Sappington Barracks, northwest on Barracks View into Lindbergh, southwest on Lemay Ferry, into South County Mall, northeast on Lemay Ferry, north on Lindbergh, northeast on Union, northwest on Reavis Barracks, left into Reavis Barracks Park Ride Lot, northwest on Reavis Barracks, west on Reavis, north on Tesson Ferry into Rock Hill, north on Laclede Station Road, east on Murdoch into Murdoch cutoff, east on Lansdowne, into the Shrewsbury MetroLink Station. Service will be provided hourly from 5:05 a.m. to 7:05 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The No. 40X I-55 Mehlville Express bus service will be restored between the Missouri Department of Transportation Richardson Road Park-Ride Lot and downtown St. Louis. Morning service will operate from the MoDOT Richardson Road Park-Ride lot, to Meramec Bottom Road, the South County Education Center Park-Ride Lot, Lemay Ferry, I-255/I-270, the MoDOT Reavis Barracks Park-Ride Lot, north on I-55 to Truman Parkway, Chouteau, 14th Street, Market, Ninth Street, Washington, ending at the Convention Center MetroLink Station. Evening service will follow the reverse of morning service.
The route will operate on a 30-minute frequency, with a total of five morning trips and five evening trips per weekday.