ST. LOUIS - There is a big push to shake up MetroLink leadership in order to keep riders safe. The rail line has been plagued with crime on trains and at stations. There are also allegations that officers assigned to patrol it are sleeping on the job. Now, St. Louis City and County leaders are calling on Gov. Eric Greitens to replace some board members and give Bi-State Development, the agency that runs MetroLink, a fresh start.
There are four members of the Bi-State Development Board of Commissioners who represent the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County. All four members are serving on expired terms. St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger says they weren't doing anything wrong, but a new board would bring a fresh perspective on improving MetroLink safety.
"They've served faithfully but I think now is the time, given the situation that we find ourselves in, to have a fresh perspective and really a reset for Bi-State and for Metro," Stenger said.
There's also one vacant seat. Stenger and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson want five new members. They sent a letter to the governor asking him to choose from a variety of candidates they recommend for the board.
"Fields related to public transportation, fields related to law enforcement," Stenger said. "A really diverse group of individuals."
Stenger wouldn't reveal the names of the candidates. He says their names will be released once the governor decides. Krewson, however, revealed her letter to the governor on Twitter. She's asking him to consider Rose Windmiller, Jill McGuire, Marius Johnson-Malone, Vincent Bennett, Michael Zambrana, and Koran Addo.
Stenger says, once new candidates are selected, it will be a big step for MetroLink.
"The number one priority here is public safety," he said.
The move comes after recent allegations that county police officers assigned to MetroLink covered up security cameras, slept on the job and lied about how they patrolled the platforms.
"What we're looking for in the new board is a high level of cooperation and collaboration so that we can make the line safe and so that we can have public transportation that's safe for our entire community," Stenger said.
Former St. Louis Mayor Vince Schoemehl has served on the board for ten years. His term expired in 2011. He says the mayor called him Friday afternoon to let him know he will be replaced and says there are no hard feelings. He has enjoyed his time on the board.
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