Saturday, July 26, 2014


Metro's honor system is a sweet deal for St. Louis police and sheriffs.  Police have their fingers in Metro's pie, too. Not just for writing tickets, but for getting more shifts, and the bosses get to skim the contract for their private slush funds.

Note in the article, Gore was "assigned to the Metrolink detail."


I don't know who Kenny Nawling's is, and the article doesn't mention where we can hear his radio show, but this dude is already my hero.
“I would like to talk to the highest ranking official in this office, so you’re not willing to get someone to talk to me,” Nawling said. “What I’m going to do is handcuff myself to this door until someone comes out to talk to me.”
Residents of other nations have protested Serco as well. People have staged protests over the company in Australia. In the United Kingdom, the company is also embroiled in controversy over government contracts. 

He handcuffed himself to Serco's front door!  (This is the company that sabotaged ACA applications to the tune of $1.3 Billion dollars of taxpayer money-- 1.2 billion for the contract, and another 98 million extension to pay them to actually process the applications they sabotaged! My previous post about them:

St. Louis needs more people like Kenny Nawling!

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Metro has a new Transit Debit card they are bringing out in 2015.  As usual, it is just enough to produce reams of self-congratulating marketing propaganda, but not really anything new, useful or revolutionary.

It's the third story down on this article:

That's great that it the card will "tap out" at $7.50 but to really do something useful, they need to have it tap out at $78 every month (the price of the monthly pass).

Moreover, as OPTINSTL keeps reminding people, WHETHER YOU RIDE METRO OR NOT, YOU PAY FOR IT!  Metro needs to be separated from Bi-State Development Agency and it needs to be community or communally owned by the cities and municipalities and counties it serves. 

EVERYONE should get a Gateway card, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to have people's names on it.  EVERYONE should get two free rides (two hour passes) a year on the card.


If Metro was run by people whose only purpose was to make public transit serve the needs of the public, instead of being a funnel for massive government funds for Bi-State to use in leveraging "business development" and making private contractors rich, and thereby padding the CEO's future political ambitions, these changes would have already been made.

We would already have a North-South Metrolink (instead of those worn-out reconditioned 64 foot buses at $1.5 million each).  And that $5 million a year fare increase would have been paid for with the funds currently going to "Contributions to Outside Entities" (that's political campaign donations).


Thursday, July 17, 2014


So, according to police only one of these is verified.  It happened   The details on the other one are very murky.

Metro says they don't have video of anything occurring on the platform.  Maybe they just don't know what they are looking for.  They don't say whether they have footage of anyone being near the victim that reported the crime.

And I might have called the police before saying anything to Metro security.  I don't want to call anyone a liar, but this is a strange story.

The second one happened on Sunday night.  Both involved guns.

This story was just reported today.  The article I had been reading before this one was:

Eliminate poverty and see how dramatically the crime drops.  Sure there will still be greedy thugs---the greatest and most successful thugs are entities and people like the I.R.S. and U.S. Government, and the Koch Brothers, and the banking and Wall Street "leaders"--- but all crime that stems from desperation and poverty will disappear.

I will say one thing about public transit, while violent crime may occur around transit, violent criminals rarely use public transit in the commission of crimes.

Bank robbers don't run to catch the 'getaway bus'. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


(EDIT: I changed the title of this post.  The title was "The Police are theives, and the arch renovators are robbers"... I was thinking of the song "Police and Thieves."  Then I realized robbery is done with a gun, and the new title was more accurate.  The blog post address still reflects the old title.  Sorry.)

The Arch Grounds Renovation and the new Police Headquarters can tell transit riders a lot.

Metro is a private-public partnership.  Public-private partnerships are really just another way for business developers to get more government funding for their own purposes.

And the City Arch River foundation is a great example of the "boondogglery" and misinformation that accompany these partnerships.

What is really shocking is how little real investigation is done by the media.  I get that global entities like Serco are difficult to track, but just skimming these articles the misinformation and statistical manipulation leaps out at the reader.  And these are all locally recognizable names and companies.

Take a wee peek at the people that are on the Board, and the companies that benefit.  Do the Ralston Purina heirs really need their names plastered anywhere else?  Look at the blatant pleas for more "donor recognition."

The biggest lie about the Arch Grounds Renovation is this:

"The lion's share of the funding is coming from private sources."

Take a close look at the actual private monies being donated --not a lion's share, by any means, and not actual money or even the "investors" own money, in the case of tax credits. Out of a $380 million dollar budget, private sources were supposed to donate $209 million.  $91 million comes from federal funding, and the rest-- and a whole lot more, about $500 million, for many, many years after the renovation is completed-- comes from that Prop P sales tax increase.  (They are gonna milk that cash cow to death.)

Now, kick in 14 months behind schedule, lagging private donations and additional $15 million dollar tax credit incentive (the government gives the donor a big tax credit, say for a million dollars, and the donor sells that credit for seventy cents on the dollar and kicks in a matching contribution... and the government wonders why they are insolvent??? Take the money to the racetrack and they'd get better odds and payoffs).

And, the truth is, the Arch is really not that vital to our city.  Sorry.  For real, read this link even if you don't read any of the others:

This is outright theft.  

The money from the tax and the federal funds could be used for something the city really needs: a north to south Metrolink.  The budget for that is $800 million.  (I believe that estimate is deliberately inflated, but regardless, that $718 million would pay for most of it, and Prop A's county proceeds in 14 months would cover the rest.)

That Roy Blunt supports public-private partnerships is just another confirmation they are a very bad idea:

Now, about that new police headquarters.  Here is another term for theft that a lot of people aren't aware of: asset forfeiture money.

The department bought a nine-story building once used by financial services firm A.G. Edwards for $2.7 million using asset forfeiture money.

With asset forfeiture, your money is guilty until proven innocent.  It is outright theft.  And as with all theft, it is the poorest who are most vulnerable.

The police don't have to report the money.  If they think your money is "dirty" they can keep it. And good luck getting it back.

Hey, St. Louis, do you like being robbed?


I can't seem to shut up about Amendment 7.  It is not just an outrage and highway robbery, but also a very clear example of the kind of widespread insolvency our governments are facing nationally.  (It might seem that it started in 2008, but our current corporate plutocracy and income inequality actually go back to 1981 and Reagan.)

I don't even need to point out that it is no coincidence that this comes during the "fight" to pass the highway transportation bill.

The Laborers International Union of North America have joined the construction cartels and made themselves into panhandlers for the proposed statewide sales tax increase.

Theatrical panhandlers with a scare tactic.  They are traveling around with a bus that has a bridge (foam sculpture) crashing down on top of it.

I don't blame these guys for working it to get some work.  And I support the unions.  But this sales tax increase is panhandling.  These workers are just some of the recipients of the beggar's cup, even though they know they, too, will pay for it.

Government officials want to do everything BUT raise taxes on the wealthy and increase effective tax rates on the corporate oligarchs.  None of our great leaders is the least bit interested in doing what is right for the people.  All they want is their nice fat campaign contributions and lobbyist gifts to keep coming.

As I-- and many others-- have said before, Metro is not about public transit.  Public Transit is just the excuse for Bi-State Development Agency to funnel government funds for business development and political networking.

The Government is not about Government services, including transportation infrastructure.  Government services are just the excuse for extracting more tax money.

If the government and big business wants more of our (coin) change, they need to create some real change!

Amendment 7 is a good opportunity for we, the people, to demand real change!

These threats of infrastructure collapse and bus crashes, these are scare tactics.  They need to be afraid of us!

“When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.”  -John Basil Barnill


People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” -V For Vendetta

OPTINSTL'S previous posts on Amendment 7:


I find it really shocking how dismissive Metro executives are about their terrible surveys.  (Once a year, on the Metrolink only.)  They are really clueless about the actual transit needs of their riders.

Without meaningful, accurate data, from a large representative group of patrons, no business or entity can make decisions or do planning.

It is only because Metro is not a completely private, for profit business that they can get away with this.  (And there is very little chance that any public transit agency is every going to be lucrative enough for a private company to want to own one.   All of these agencies are really just funnels for government funds to be used in "business development."  And to further political careers of CEO's and top executives. "Hey I mismanaged Metro's 350 million dollar budget, I can mismanage the state's budget just as well."  Um, yes, that was sarcasm.)

This article about Los Angeles' Metro's Blue Line is a real eye opener if you know how to read between the lines.

It was a big deal, perhaps even more so than the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (LACMTA) expected. Originally projected to have a daily ridership of 5,000, the Blue Line was carrying 32,000 riders a day by the end of 1990. As of last May, the system's oldest line has an average weekday ridership of 86,065.

THAT'S RIGHT! Expected versus actual ridership BEGAN at SIX TIMES the agency's estimate!  And is now, what? SEVENTEEN TIMES the estimate??? 

The Blue Line runs through South Central and down to Long Beach.  It definitely covers LA's most transit dependent areas. 

When public transit takes people where they need to go, in a timely manner, the sky is the limit.

You know, OPTINSTL's survey for Metro to use is modelled from the Los Angeles Metro's semi-annual survey. For an entire week, on every single bus and train, LA Metro has survey takers handing out and collecting lengthy, detailed questionnaires to every rider.

St. Louis Metro relies on general population and employment statistics.  And those once a year, five question, Metrolink-only surveys.

Of course, business developers and local politicians don't really want Metro to provide good service to the people that need it the most.  St. Charles demonstrated that most blatantly when they shot down the proposed Metrolink ten years ago.

What they want is bus service that will actually get a person to a low wage job, but not convenient enough for those workers to come spend their free time in the "nice areas". 

Incarceration by lack of decent public transit is a very effective way of cordoning off parts of the city using federal funds to do so.

If St. Louis Metro actually surveyed their riders, a north-south metrolink would be the obvious top-priority.  But then it would be easier and faster for transit riders to get around.

And that is exactly what they don't want.


There was a Metro bus crash yesterday because a passenger attacked the driver.

If I had to guess which bus line I'd say the #41.  And as the union comments, this type of thing is far too common on buses. 

Bus driver's take all the anger for everything that is wrong with Metro, and the heat for a lot of what is wrong in the city.

These spikes in violence and crime seem to be so bewildering to our "leaders".  It's as if they live in a completely different city, in fact, a different WORLD, than the rest of us.

Look at the crime maps of St. Louis, and it is obvious that these spikes are happening in the poorest and most downtrodden parts of the city.

The financial crisis of 2008, which we supposedly are "recovering" from, is not over.  In fact, it hasn't even begun.  The bank bailouts did NOTHING to fix the economy.  The bailouts simply shifted the problem.

And all of this screaming you hear about our roads and infrastructure, the insolvency of our state and government bodies, where do you think this money crunch is being felt the most?

At the bottom. 

Yes, you can keep taking a few dollars a week from SNAP recipients, make unemployment benefits harder to obtain, raise sales taxes, ignore our failing school systems, and keep adding more police to already overly-policed neighborhoods (more cops make bad neighborhoods worse), and all of us will pay the price.

This city treats North St. Louis like a concentration camp.  Half of this city doesn't exist, except for the crime reports (and the poor of this city making our legal system and lawyers and private prison owners wealthier).

And the more desperate the people become, the harder the state cracks down, the more explosive it is going to get.  The less they will be able to "contain" the spikes to the areas where no "decent" person will go.

I wish that not only were Metro officials required to ride the buses, I wish all the local politicians were required to actually walk the streets and ride transit and talk to people. 

And police should be required to "walk the beat" and get to know the people in the communities they police.

And, yes, Metro needs more security.  And they need to pay their drivers more.  Bus drivers take a lot of crap, and while some of them are jerks-- or jerks sometimes, they are people, after all, like the rest of us-- they deserve to be treated with more respect, not just from riders, but from the company that employs them.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


OPTINSTL'S previous posts on Amendment 7, the proposed statewide sales tax increase of 3/4 of a cent, on the ballot in August.

Today, MO DOT listed the approved projects.  Look no further for proof that this is a huge waste of taxpayer money.

St. Louis starts on about page 14, depending on what you consider St. Louis.

I suggest ever single person--whether you are a registered voter, whether you ride public transit--  reads this very carefully.

First of all, there isn't a lot of public transit on this list. (Only 18% is Public Transit related, according to a NextSTL tweet.)

"Public Transportation" does not always mean buses and Metrolink, or even para-transit.  It includes walking and bike paths, and A LOT of support services.

Below are some OPTINSTL highlights:

St Louis / St Louis City
Fixed funding contribution to Metro for bus rapid transit route
from downtown St Louis to Chesterfield along I-64. Project
delivery is contingent upon $20 million contribution from
Public Transportation

$20 Million contribution from Metro!!! HAHAHA!  Oh wait, a minute, this is in Chesterfield, so they will rob some other fund to pay for this.

This is Metro CEO John Nations doing his job to make sure no convenient Metrolink service is available to his hometown.  It's okay if "people" ride buses for two or three hours to come from "urban" neighborhoods to bus tables and clean houses. But he doesn't want to many "people" coming from "urban" neighborhoods quickly and easily, for entertainment and shopping, because, you know how those "people" are.

Nations is pretty open about only getting involved with Metro to resolve the "maid crisis" of the 2009 bus lines cuts.  His unemployed, wealthy constituents were suddenly faced with the prospect of cleaning their own houses, because the maids couldn't get to Chesterfield.

(There are LOTS of unemployed people in Chesterfield, but they are called "stay at home mom's" and "investors".  Being unemployed is only bad if you don't have money.  Being poor is the only true crime in the "Land of the Free", the richest country in the world.)

Of course, it is unlikely that a similar Florissant project will get funded. Metro will have to come up with ANOTHER $20 million.   (Again, once MO DOT has the money, they will do whatever they want with it.)

St Louis / St Louis City
Fixed funding contribution to Metro for the bus rapid transit
route from downtown St Louis to I-270 along West Florissant
Ave and Natural Bridge Road. Project delivery is contingent
upon Metro providing $20 million to complete the
Public Transportation

Yes, you read that right.  They allocate the same amount to West Florissant as Chesterfield.  They have, at least, twice, and probably three times, the amount of riders waiting along West Florissant as Chesterfield.

Even if MO DOT and Metro and our other brilliant leaders were aware of this, and they should be, their own statistics prove it, I doubt Florissant would get the play it deserves.

And with both of these: NO MORE BUSES! These should be Metrolinks.  This is ridiculous.  Really.  These two projects alone should be enough for public transit riders to vote no!

St Louis / St Louis City
Future light rail station
Public Transportation

$8.9 Million.  Why yes, that would be the exact amount of money Cortex needs to rip down the old Central West End Metrolink station and move it a few blocks, so they can "realize their business ideal." Cortex is actually a consortium corporation formed by Barnes Jewish, SLU Medical, Washington University and MOBOT/Monsanto.  (Barnes Jewish is tired of transit riders using their bathrooms and cafeterias.) And this will satisfy the other Cortex proponents that Barnes Jewish isn't unfairly served by Metrolink. 

Cortex won't have to pay one red cent to put their big corporate name on the new Metrolink station stop. 

St Louis / St Louis City
Studies for light rail expansion and funding scenarios for next
Public Transportation

$2 million dollars FOR STUDIES.  They did all these same tired studies for the Madison County and St. Charles Proposed Metrolink expansion and what did it get us?  Nothing.  They don't do the right kind of studies, and they don't make public transit for the people that use it most.  Public transit is developed where corporate and construction developers can make the most money, and Metro executives can keep the biggest slush funds for their bonuses. 

We don't need anymore expensive studies.  It is obvious where the light rail needs to go, and we need a plan.  They keep wasting our money with these feasibility and funding scenarios.  They are inept or corrupt or both.

And this NEW streetcar plan! What a joke!  It mostly runs parallel to the Metrolink, and only adds 2 miles of North/South transit, from downtown to Old North.  And who are these people?  Mostly SLU folk, the same lot that is in on Citizens for Modern Transit and part of the Cortex scam, and they are hungry to suck up federal funds:

St Louis City
Provide fixed funding contribution toward phase I of the St Louis Streetcar system. Project delivery is contingent upon St Louis Streetcar Company providing $271.5 million contribution from other sources, including federal funds and rider fees.
Public Transportation

I'd love a streetcar in Old North, but the rest of the plan is just crap.  And that $271.5 million that they are going to contribute is all federal funds.  RIDICULOUS!  This is just robbery that should go to a North South Metrolink.  in fact, that is about third of the money needed to complete a light rail system from the tip of North county to the bottom of South County!!

But too many of these people sit on the East West Gateway Council.  They don't care about making public transit better for people that actually ride it the most.  It's all Shoemal, he's not mayor anymore but he is still running public transit into the ground.

More on St. Louis Streetcar:

What do we have next? Here is a cleverly disguised $18 million grant to the Loop "Folley Trolley":

St Louis City
Funding for Delmar/Forest Park-DeBaliviere Metrolink station improvements, sidewalk/non-motorized improvements along Hodiamont Ave, Delmar Blvd, De Giverville Ave and Des Peres Ave, and connect Ruth Porter Trail to Forest Park
Sidewalk / Non-Motorized

There is so much more to get into on this list, and I will add to it as I have the time and investigate, but this should be enough for any voter, particularly transit riders, to vote no on Amendment 7.

You will see more crap like this, as the governments local, state and national try to get support for their insolvency and mismanagement of funds:

Don't believe the hype.

And, seriously, MO DOT is lame.  This is just one example:

So is the street services department.  And the coordination with utilities and contractors is beyond lame.  It is downright dangerous!  (Again, this is just one example.)

The people in charge are running our city and state into the ground.  TIME FOR CHANGE!

Start by voting NO on AMENDMENT 7!


Sitting at the Delmar Metrolink the other day, in the hot sun, was a woman waiting for a bus that runs every 40 minutes.  She was 60ish, African-American, in somewhat fragile health, and on that day, dry as dust.

"Why don't they have a drinking fountain?" she asked.  "All this money we pay, and we can't get a drinking fountain."  She didn't have even a quarter to buy water from one of the local restaurants.

"We need bathrooms, too," I commented. 

"Yes, but right now, I am so dry, I couldn't even go to the bathroom," she said.  "I need a drink of water!"
The need for bathrooms has already been well documented on this blog.

But we need drinking fountains, too.  Riding your buses is thirsty work.  There is rarely enough shade at bus stops and terminals, and often there is no shade.  Too often there are no places nearby where a person can get a drink of water for free.  If you want water you will need to pay at least a quarter to get a cup from a fountain machine, or buy a plastic bottle of water. Of course, that is the same as needing the toilet.  You have to buy something at most places. 

If I were driving a car for an hour and a half on the highways, there would be ample rest stops where I could get water and go to the bathroom.  But during my daily three hour trip on the buses (90 minutes one way, on three bus lines each way, with at least a 20 minute wait between one of those transfers) there is no consideration for my most basic needs.

It's the 21st Century and we can send a man to outer space, but we don't have public facilities in our earthbound cities.  Legislators, lawmakers, and the media argue endlessly over when life begins in a woman's uterus.  Corporations are ruled to be "persons".

But the one thing that all people have in common (except for corporate "persons") is a bladder and bowels.  One thing we all need to survive is water.

Our city and nation, our entire planet, is ruled by shareholders and executives seeking profits for themselves.  They don't care about us, and they never have.  We are cash cows to be milked for labor and then again for taxes.

We, the people, pay for everything but get very little in return.

Maybe when we are all thirsty and incontinent enough, we will begin to demand our fair share.

Let's start with public toilets and drinking fountains at St. Louis Metro transfer centers, and go from there.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


It's not much, but you can at least get a little discount. 

It's a hike to Affton.

Metro has a page on it, but I can't get their site to load.

You can go their site and it is the first story featured:

I really wish it were required the executives use public transit at least one week a month for all their
 travel needs.  They need to be out with us, experiencing what it is like, and engaging us in surveys and discussion. 


OPTINSTL'S previous post about Amendment 7:

The St. Louis Post Dispatch and their St. Louis Today website have been running some really good opinion pieces and articles on the proposed increased sales tax.

Both terms in this post's title, "Highway Robbery" and "Concrete Cartels", come from this brilliant and well-written Op-Ed: 

And this one is great on who is paying for the "pro" Amendment 7 campaign:

Many people have written in that what we need to do is increase gasoline tax-- ours is the lowest in the nation! Let the trucking companies that use the highways the most pay for the roads!

This is great opinion letter, from a transit rider:

And this great piece really spells out the ridiculousness of the few transit related items on the City's wishlist. 

On the project list biking and pedestrian paths are considered "public transit".  So you might see a lot of X marks in the transit column but read the descriptions carefully. The few that actually deal with bus, trains and streetcars are nothing more than government subsidies to private developers, such as the Loop Trolley, McKee's Northside "Redevelopment" and a Lindell street car that runs parallel to the Metrolink!

MO DOT has released their final "wishlist" draft, but it isn't readily available to the public, which is just OUTRAGEOUS.  We are being asked to pay for something, but don't get to see the details? A reporter from Associated Press had to file a Sunshine Act request to get the project, and even then, he only reports on what is in it, we do not get to see the actual list.

And even if we did see the wishlist, that is all it is.  Once they get the money they will do whatever they want with it.  Let's not forget April 2010's Prop A.  It was going to "save" Metro.  And look what they have done with it.  Nothing.  They get the 11 million a year from the city for the Metrolink, but County Executive Charlie Dooley controls the purse strings on the $78 million the county collects.  And even if he is does allot some to Metro, they are still insolvent!




Metro likes to brag that it is the best transit agency of its size, and that it is just doing "what all the other agencies are doing."

Long Island Rail transit workers are set to strike.  Like Metro, their agency has refused to negotiate a new contract (but for only four years, instead of six years), and eroding pensions and benefits.

(Also Philly and San Francisco:

Public transit needs to change nationwide.  And it's not going to be the people in charge that change it, it is going to have to be those of us that actually rely on transit-- both riders and workers.


Friday, July 4, 2014


The news media really downplayed the Metrolink Blue Flu today.  That's usually a good sign.  It means the union is getting visible public support and the Ole Boy Network has made the proper phone calls to media station managers and senior editors.

Of course, it appeared that not nearly as many people attended Fare St. Louis in Forest Park than had been anticipated, and also that fewer Fare-goers used Metrolink than expected.

This did force them to lower that $30 parking price tag to $20.  Maybe that kept a lot of people away.  The local government, in keeping with the state and federal government, has been doing a fine job of making plain that constituents are just cash cows to be milked at every opportunity.  Land of the free indeed.

You know, they could have made public transit free today.  Even if you don't ride it, you pay for it.  That would have been a true gesture of celebration and thanks.  And probably attracted a lot of new riders.

The city leaders are walking on eggshells right now.  The spike in violence and crime in the poorest areas of the city are always harbingers of larger problems, about to boil over.  The government is broke, but they won't raise taxes on corporations, or any of the other necessary changes.

One thing I found myself musing on, as I watched the parade on television, is how lackluster the parade seemed going through the park.  Not just the sparse attendance.  It just didn't strike the same response as seeing the same marching bands and floats glide down the streets of downtown.

Part of what makes a parade so exciting is the way it takes over and transforms the ordinary streets.  I wonder if Saint Louisans won't feel a emptiness, a need to fill the streets?

I think the city leaders, for their own sake, should have kept the parade downtown.  Parades, in times of strife, are "demonstrations by proxy".

The Metrolink operators deserve our support.  They are fighting for their union, their pensions, and their pay.  We should all join them in securing those things for ourselves.  We can start by calling Metro and telling them we support the drivers, and demanding they negotiate a new contract.

And we need to demand a few "Fare Free" days a year for the city.


What does this have to do with public transportation in St. Louis?  Serco is the macrocosm of everything that is wrong with this country.  And possibly the entire world.

KMOV St. Louis has been running a lot of spots about the Wentzville offices of Serco that were given a $1.2 billion contract to process ACA, or Obamacare, applications.  If you have been following the news story, you know that they basically paid employees to do nothing, and processed almost no applications.

They were just given a big fat $98 million government extension.

Serco is NOT a local company.  They began as the British arm of RCA, supplying services to the cinema industry.  They are a global defense and everything else contractor.

They run the Dubai and Copenhagen Metro's (mass transit).  They run parking meters in Chicago..  They own railway worldwide.  They do cyber-intelligence for the U.S. government and other large entities. They supply electronic tags (those leg bands) to the UK Ministry of Justice.

They run a school district  in the UK. They own prisons.  Leisure and vacation facilities.  Waste management services.  Facilities management at hospitals. Run the Iraqi airport.  (EDIT: They were in charge when this utterly bizarre loss of 12 billion dollars happened: )

They run immigration Detention Facilities in the UK.  Give driver's licence and driver exams in Ontario. 

They are one of the largest defense contractors in the world.
They acquired SI International, in Reston Virginia in 2008.  This gave them their U.S. address.****

People in the UK hate Serco, and rightfully so.

Serco haven't just overbilled the US.  Check out their contracts and follow the pattern of scandal. In the UK they billed the Ministry of justice for (electronically) tagging offenders THAT WERE DEAD.

Oh, and their hospital management?
From the Wikipedia link:
In health services, Serco's difficulties include the poor handling of pathology labs and fatal errors in patient records. At St Thomas' Hospital, the increase in the number of clinical incidents arising from Serco non-clinical management has resulted in patients receiving incorrect and infected blood, as well as patients suffering kidney damage due to Serco providing incorrect data used for medical calculations.[59] A Serco employee later revealed that the company had falsified 252 reports to the National Health Service regarding Serco health services in Cornwall.[60]

And isn't it nice to know that all of that personal medical information is in the hands of one of the largest intelligence contractors in the world?

Yes, they are rapists, too:
(Also from the Wikipedia article)
In September 2013, Serco was accused of extensive sexual abuse cover-ups of immigrants at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre prison in Bedfordshire, England [30] 


The Union of Christmas Island Workers highlighted the systemic failure by Serco to manage the Christmas Island Immigration Reception and Processing Centre. The centre detains a large number of refugees including 1,000 children.[36] Under Serco, there has been an increase of deaths in custody, self-harm, and of Serco staff beating prisoners. As well, there has been a deterioration of facilities leading to the decline of the physical and the mental health of detainees and of staff. Ombudsman Allan Asher on the Australian radio show AM said, "In the first week of June when I visited Christmas Island, more than 30 incidents of self-harm by detainees held there were reported."[36] Serco, in a staged memo leaked to The Australian, blamed the detainees for "creating a culture of self-harm," in order to use it as a "bargaining tool."[36]

How did they do with that School district?
Serco held a 10-year contract with Bradford City Council between 2001 and 2011 to manage and operate the local education authority,[65] providing education support services to the City's schools. This period was marked with "real problems" according to senior council officials and was taken back in house by the local authority after this period.[66] Serco similarly manages and operates Walsall[67] and Stoke-on-Trent local education authorities.[68] Serco is one of Ofsted's three Regional Inspection Service Providers, responsible for school inspections in the English Midlands.[69] Serco is also the provider of a Student information system, Facility, used in schools and colleges in several countries.[70

What DOESN'T Serco have it's fingers in?

EDIT: Consider the fascist possibilities of a corporation that control's driver licencing, education, prisons, medical care, detention, as well as intelligence gathering, cyber-spying, etc, globally.  If we made a map that showed the influence of Serco and their other corporate peers (CACI, Lockheed, etc), would we see a world dominated by U.S./British private intelligence corporations?  

Also, consider that Serco does the same work as USIS, LLC, the company that put Snowden at the NSA,

In fact, here is Serco's protest of a contract award to USIS, LLC: 

So what does this have to do with public transit in St. Louis?  It's not a direct link.

Serco is the macrocosm, and Bi-State Development Agency is the microcosm.  This is the template for agencies and companies that receive government funding.  Developing infrastructure (transportation or intelligence gathering) makes the private company wealthy, and they in turn feed the politicians with power in the infrastructure-- and of course massive campaign funds.

All government money comes from the taxpayers.  The macrocosm and the microcosm are nothing more than means to rob the public.  Serco is just an extremely transparent example.

Happy Fourth of July! 

***** SI International is worth investigating on it's own.  Ray Oleson founded the company in 1997.  He'd worked for CACI before that.  CACI formed in 1962.  CACI has strong ties to Donald Rumsfeld and the Bush regime. A British American defense, spy, and intelligence contractor, with massive global operations.  CACI was sued in 2004 by a group of tortured Iraqi Abu Ghraib prisoners.  The result of the suit is on-going today.  Since 2007 they have rather suddenly began purchasing over 20 other IT companies, at a rate of several per year.

SI International's 2008 purchase date is not coincidental to the global financial collapse.  It is too big to go into in this post, or in a blog post at all, it is book length, but SI ties to the Bush family and W's presidency, and probably back to WW2 and St. Louis investment banker Herbert Walker (GW Bush maternal grandfather, and founder of the bank that GW Bush's brother William "Bucky" still runs.  And let's not forget the banker that laundered gold for the Nazi's, Thomas McKittrick, from St. Louis.  After WW2 he brought Reichbank's Emil Puhl to NYC.) 
Unravel the knot of SI International, CACI, Serco, the Bush Family's St. Louis and WW2 activities and ties to BIS and the Nazi's, and you could unravel every conspiracy theory, illegal war and scandal since the "Great War." (It was great for them!)
This list includes Serco, CACI, and all those like them (from 2008): 

It is worth reading the whole list.  Guess who else?

USIS= (listed as a consortium sub-contractor under the Boeing project listing)= the contractor that vetted Edward Snowden, however, mostly famous for their ties to the Bush regime's Carlyle Group, who are famous for their Iraqi war profits, and sub-prime mortgage crisis insolvency.

SECOND EDIT: Not big on 9/11 conspiracy theories, but Serco comes up in doc's a lot on such sites.  Their CEO (he retired just last year) was on the 47th floor of one of the towers on 9/11
I can't work out what these links are actually saying, both badly written and unclear, but apparently someone tried to sue them for a military death:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


It's a funny strike, to not ride the bus.  Instead of a big group of people in one location, it is a lot of people staying home or getting a ride.

The revolution may not be televised, but it will be "telephoned".

Even after today, don't stop calling Metro.  If we don't demand change, they won't volunteer it.  Between the fat cat executives, protecting their own salaries and bonuses (paid for with public tax money and rider fares), and the pencil pushers that just want to keep their jobs, there is no one at Metro, or any government agency or council, that is looking out for the rider.

They are robbing us blind, but we are letting them rob us.  Until we demand change and make our voices impossible to ignore, business will continue as usual.

They will keep putting in "landscaping" at transfer centers, instead of building toilet facilities.  Fares will increase every two years automatically, even though the fare increases do little more than offset the $5 million they spend in "contributions to outside entities" (political campaign contributions), and won't even make a dent in the $26 million a year interest on their debts.

Rider fares only supply $72 million of their $350 million a operating budget, but they will milk us for every red cent they can get.  (Of course, they won't take our pennies anymore.  When they did have extra money they spent it on new fare boxes.  Did that help their riders?  No.  They were just sick of pennies.  So what if many of their riders have to scrape up change to get their fares?  Metro is not about making things better for their customers.)

July 4th is the last day of the World Wide Wave of Action.  Today, whether you strike or not, and through the end of the week, do something revolutionary.  Right now the economy and world situation is so bad that to change things for yourself requires as much, if not more, energy than to change things for everyone. 

If we all "phoned in" the revolution-- made one more call to Metro or city officials, or signed one more petition-- every week, we would not need to resort to the large demonstrations and marches in the streets.

Like the bus strike, the "phone in revolution" is about individual enlightenment and action.  It is about creating a culture of leaders, that dictate the government and public agencies, instead of the other way around.

Instead of a Paul Revere, riding through the streets, waking up the people, this Fourth of July, awaken yourself to your own power, AND THEN USE IT.

A whole new world is waiting to be born, it begins with you.