MetroLink security audit moving forward

CLAYTON — A security analysis of St. Louis’ MetroLink system will be moving forward in the next couple weeks, St. Louis County officials announced Tuesday.

The East-West Gateway Council of Governments will begin seeking bids this month for a comprehensive security analysis of the MetroLink light rail system, county officials said in a statement.

East-West Gateway is undertaking the study at the request of the leaders of the three jurisdictions that fund MetroLink — St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern.

The three leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in May that unified law enforcement command and provided for greater police presence on the light rail system. The MOU was developed in cooperation with Bi-State Development, the agency that oversees MetroLink.

“We expect that this security study will give us additional information on how we can most effectively apply our resources to enhance public safety on MetroLink,” County Executive Stenger said in a statement.

Added Mayor Krewson, “We know many people rely on MetroLink to get to work or to the doctor. We want to do everything we can to ensure their travel is safe.”

Jim Wild, executive director of East-West Gateway, the region’s planning arm, said the organization would begin this month to solicit and select consultants to conduct the MetroLink System-Wide Security Assessment.

The study will also serve as a guide for the potential installation of a barrier system to limit entry at MetroLink stations. Currently, MetroLink operates as an “open” system with no physical barriers at its stations.

Additionally, in February, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will conduct its tri-annual security assessment of the MetroLink system. The TSA has conducted these Baseline Assessments for Security Enhancement of the light rail system every three years since 2009.

The TSA assessments establish security standards and align security programs for mass transit rail and bus systems nationwide.

“We look forward to reviewing the findings of both studies as part of our commitment to the safety of MetroLink users,” Board Chairman Kern said.

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