Bi-State Development Agency was formed in 1949 for the purpose of "making the region more attractive to business".
What was their first job? CREATING THE METROPOLITAN SEWER DISTRICT. Which is now a separate entity.
Bi-State did not even get into Public Transit until the 1960's, when they bought 15 failing private bus lines.
According to Wikipedia:
In addition, Metro also owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport (formerly Parks) and the adjoining industrial business park, paddlewheel-style river excursion boats, the tram system leading to the top of the Gateway Arch, and the Arch's parking garage.
The agency was created on September 20, 1949 through a compact between Missouri and Illinois and ratified by the United States Congress. Metro's broad powers enable it to cross local, county, and state boundaries to plan, construct, maintain, own, and operate specific facilities in its effort to enhance the quality of life in the region. Its service area encompasses 200 municipalities. The agency continued to operate streetcars from the St. Louis Public Service Company in St. Louis until May 1966 with the discontinuation of the Hodiamont line. First public support of transit came to the region in 1974. Buses continued to dominate Metro's fleet until a feasibility study in the late 80's suggested the construction of a light rail line from Lambert St. Louis International Airport to 5th and Missouri in East St. Louis via an abandoned segment of railway; that included abandoned tunnels under downtown St. Louis and the then disused Eads Bridge lower deck railway.
Metro's own Comprehensive Annual reports show that the only thing that DOESN'T operate at a loss in the Arch Trams and the parking garage!
Without the public transit they are a tiny little agency, operating on less than $5 million a year. It's the public transit that brings in the 160 million of taxpayer money. It's Metro that allows people like John Nations to get a quarter of a million a year salary and the "grooming" for a senate seat.
When Metro (Bi-State Development Agency d.b.a.) says that they are "not in the business of supplying public toilet facilities" they are lying. They are in the business of whatever they want to be, as long as they can justify it fitting in with "making the region more attractive to talented young professionals".
Business owners benefit from increased public toilet facilities, too. For example, one of my favorite restaurants is The Kitchen Sink (TKS). They started out next to the Debalivere Metrolink. They moved to Union Blvd. last fall because the owner was tired of people coming in to use the restroom, and also peeing on the side of the building and in his entryway when the restaurant was closed.
Yesterday-- even though I don't drink an hour before I leave for the bus, and often go 5 hours without using a toilet when riding the bus and Metrolink- I found myself needing a bathroom at the Delmar Metrolink. Every business I approached had a sign stating "NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS."
If you own a business near a bus or Metrolink stop, you should call Metro and demand they get in the business of providing toilets.
Metro's money comes solely from public money. We should have the right to determine how they spend it.
There is a legal basis for their responsibility to provide toilets. Hold them accountable for this!
JAM THE PHONE LINES! CALL EVERYTIME YOU RIDE! DEMAND THAT THEY INSTALL TOILET FACILITIES!
From Metro's Website:
HistoryIn the beginning...
In existence for more than 60 years, Metro Transit is one of the nation's oldest interstate agencies. However, it hasn't always been known as Metro Transit.
It was established as the Bi-State Development Agency (BSDA) in 1949 through an interstate compact between Missouri and Illinois, ratified by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Harry S. Truman. (The BSDA adopted the name Metro in 2003.) The BSDA was created to serve the region on both sides of the Mississippi - to have a regional outlook not tied to any one municipality, county or state. As such, it was given broad powers that enable it to cross local, county and state boundaries to enhance the development of the region.
Although the Agency is now best known for its transit system, it would be 14 years - in 1963 - before it operated a public transit vehicle. In fact, during its first year of operation, the BSDA:
- Commissioned a comprehensive plan for development of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District, outlining the major needs of the area and recommending solutions.
- Sponsored a study of the pollution in the Mississippi River in the St. Louis area. This led to a successful program where local industries voluntarily agreed to treat wastes in order to reduce pollution.
- Completed a study of the sewer problems of St. Louis County, which led to the establishment of the Metropolitan Sewer District.
- Sponsored an area-wide survey of highways and expressways in Missouri and Illinois - one of the first instances of coordinated interstate highway planning.