As part of its 35th annual meeting, Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT), the regional transit advocacy organization, recently celebrated the incredible efforts of several individuals and organizations for their exemplary commitment to championing transit in the St. Louis area. During the event, which was held last week in downtown St. Louis, CMT presented the 2019 Chairman’s Award to six Illinois legislators for securing financing for the extension of MetroLink to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport and the 2019 New Initiatives Award to St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) for the establishment of a rider ambassador program.
Illinois legislators concluded their spring session by passing a six-year, $45 billion infrastructure bill. Downstate transit agencies like St. Clair County Transit District were allocated more than $355 million in funding to support efforts, including $96 million to cover the entire cost of the extension of MetroLink from Scott Air Force Base to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. Rep. Jay Hoffman, Rep. Monica Bristow, Rep. Katie Stuart, Rep. LaToya Greenwood, Sen. Rachelle Crowe, and Sen. Christopher Belt were all on hand to accept the 2019 Chairman’s Award.
“Allocations like this are not possible without the advocacy efforts and support of local Senators and Representatives. We appreciate the work they have done to ensure St. Clair County’s vision for transit will soon be reality,” said June McAllister Fowler, chair of the CMT Board of Directors.
The St. Clair County Transit District received the 2019 MPTA Transit Champion Award in recognition of its new ambassador program, designed to establish and maintain relationships with current transit riders and help further the sense of safety and security on the system. Ambassadors ride the trains and buses daily, answering questions, lending a helping hand and spreading smiles. Efforts are already starting to help restore public faith in the transit system and build back ridership. Ambassadors Donald Hill, Marcus Blanton and Willie Drisdel and SCCTD Board Chair Herb Simmons accepted the award on behalf of SCCTD.