Metro is currently constructing the expanded Civic Center Transit Center, which will open in about one year. This project introduces new passenger amenities to the transit system, including those at our North County Transit Center, which opened earlier this year.
We are currently designing the new Boyle MetroLink Station, which we'll begin constructing next year. Part of this project will also include extension of the Central West End MetroLink platform to accommodate high passenger demand at this busy station.
Several other ongoing and planned projects focus on maintaining the transit system, including rehabilitation of a tunnel near Union Station and replacement of track ties and other infrastructure along MetroLink.
In terms of service expansion, the region will soon embark on two conceptual design studies that will focus on four different light rail expansion options. The results of these 12 - 18 month studies will help regional decision makers determine priorities for light rail expansion, as well as the introduction of other types of transit service.
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Depending on the existing level of study for each option, the conceptual design study will include alignment (routing) alternatives; options for vehicle and station technologies; evaluation of environmental impacts; ridership projections; development of complementary service strategies; development of potential funding scenarios for construction and operation, etc. The design process comprises a significant percentage of time and budget in the development of large-scale capital projects like light rail, and in addition to answering a number of important technical questions that would lead to a construction plan, these studies are requirements for federal funding applications.
The primary purpose of the Central West End Platform extension is to provide more space for passenger queuing. This is a single-platform station (serving east and westbound trains), and it is currently Metro's busiest station. At present, I do not believe the eastern stairs are scheduled to be reconstructed.
The decision to expand transit service in St. Charles County, whether as a connection to the Metro Transit System or service solely within that county, rests with the leadership and citizens of St. Charles County. St. Charles is included in Bi-State Development's compact, however to date St. Charles County has not chosen to participate in the Metro Transit System. There have been periodic conversations on this topic, and if you are a resident of St. Charles County and interested in transit service, I encourage you to reach out to your local and County elected officials to express this interest.
Thank you, St. Louis, for a lively chat this afternoon. We'll be back next month, and in the meantime, you may always reach out to us via our website, at email@example.com, via Facebook or Twitter or at 314-304-0734.