ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Our ‘You Paid For It’ team discovered even though you paid more than $1 billion to build the Metrolink system, safety measures that could have been included when the system was first built were not included. Riders are now paying the price for that omission in the form of less safety for paying passengers.
Many systems in other cities have barriers to entry like turnstiles for added security. St Louis County Executive Steve Stenger told Fox 2 News he thought barriers should be added now. Fox 2 questioned John Nations, the head of Metro, about whether such measures should have been added at the onset.
Nations said designers at the time didn't include barriers and that if the system were being designed today, they would be.
Stenger thinks the cost of retrofitting the system now would be about $13 million, but Metro puts the price tag at about seven times that amount.
lliott asked why the additional security measures were undertaken after the initial phase was complete and the system was extended further into St Louis County and the Metro East.
Nations simply said he wasn't around when those decisions were made.
Passengers who spoke with Fox 2 said they'd feel a lot safer if non-ticket holding passengers were barred from the Metrolink platform. There could also be the additional benefit of making sure everyone pays that uses the system, and that could mean more revenue.
Barriers wouldn't take the place of police on the platform. But as Atlanta's Marta system told You Paid For It, barriers act as an added deterrent to augment the visible presence of officers.
For now at least Metro has no plans for barriers at its 37 Metrolink Stations something that could have been done much cheaper years ago.