BELLEVILLE, Ill. — After months of talking about it, General Manager of Security for Bi-State Development Kevin Scott was thrilled to invite a 5 On Your Side crew to their open house Tuesday in downtown Belleville.
It was a chance for Scott to finally unveil renderings of Metro Transit’s new, Secure Platform Plan.
“Make no mistake about it, this is a security, upgrading project. We’re taking an open-concept light rail system and we’re closing it. We’re securing the platform,” Scott said.
The 52-million dollar project calls for doubling cameras on Metro’s trains, buses and platforms that will transmit a live feed to their Real-Time Camera Center.
“There is pro-active, viewing, meaning real-time, full-time viewing of all those cameras,” Scott said.
There were also renderings of a new, secure gate system and fencing that will be installed at the light rail system’s 38 MetroLink stations and at a new station that will be built at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport.
“Our goal with this is to mitigate as much breaching opportunity as possible, so we’re not putting in gates people are going to be able to climb over and crawl under,” Scott said.
“I think the expanded cameras and new technology all sounds good,” rider Ashley Ball said.
Every month, more than 550,000 people ride MetroLink trains.
Right now, riders buy a ticket, validate it and walk up to the train platform, but in two years, new installation of fences and security gates will change that.
“How you purchase a ticket and the introduction of mobile application is all being modernized and upgraded,” Scott said.
Scott also said the Secure Platform Plan will be done in six phases, starting first at four MetroLink stations in Illinois. Those are Emerson Park, Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center, Washington Park and College.
Credit: Metro Transit
Rendering of security fencing at Washington Park station
Riders agree it’s a move in the right direction.
Smith has ridden MetroLink trains for nearly 20 years.
Metro said construction bids are still on track for August. The project should be completed by the spring of 2025.