You should vote “YES” on Prop A because you understand that a “NO” vote cripples transit planning for decades.
Prop A, as literally written, is a vote asking St. Louis Count voters to approve a 0.5% sales tax that would support Metro transit. But it’s also much more than that. Today, Metro, East-West Gateway, many municipal governments and certainly businesses are drafting long-term plans, rewriting zoning codes and planning for the future. Where will they locate in the future? How should land be used? What will development look like in 20 years?
For transit to have a future in our region it must be an integral part of this discussion. Without prospects of future funding, local revenue and potential federal support, transit will not be part of the decision-making process. Changes in local building, like transit-oriented development, business expansion and housing rely on a predictable and stable future. A “NO” vote tells decision-makers that they will not be able to rely on Metro.
Prop A and Metro opponents have cited a lack of expansion planning, lack of density and lack of a positive management track record as reasons to oppose Prop A. But a “NO” vote does nothing to address those real, or perceived, shortfalls. A “NO” vote says that we do not want a transit system. A “NO” vote doesn’t send a message to “shape up” or that Metro needs to improve, it says that Metro will not have a chance to do either. Metro will have a chance to continue to develop a transit system for the 2.8M people of the St. Louis Region. Metro is and will be our region’s transit agency and starving it of funding doesn’t not create “better transit.” It kills any opportunity for just that.
So vote “YES” on Prop A and tell everyone that mass transit is important to the future of St. Louis.