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St. Louis Metro to Launch MetroLink Extension August 26


August 21, 2006


Metro in St. Louis will introduce regular light rail passenger service on the new Cross County MetroLink Extension on Aug. 28, following an introductory weekend of special events and free rides.

The Welcome Aboard Weekend, Aug. 26 and 27, will kick off Saturday morning with a progressive ribbon-cutting ceremony beginning at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station. A MetroLink light rail vehicle will cut through a ribbon at each station to officially open that station. A train carrying elected officials, community leaders, members of Metro's Board of Commissioners, and other Metro officials will arrive at each station for brief ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

"LinkFest," a community celebration, is scheduled for Saturday afternoon across from the Shrewsbury-Lansdowne Station. The program will include activities for children, music, booths from local businesses, and food.

Citizens attending the grand opening ceremonies will have free access on MetroLink from the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station to the Shrewsbury Station. Passengers will be required to pay the regular fare between the Airport Main and Shiloh-Scott stations.

In anticipation of the opening, Metro held a media event Aug. 7 that included the operation of a special train for dignitaries on the new extension.

"The opening of Cross County connects seven municipalities from the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station to Shrewsbury, and will provide more access to jobs, schools, medical facilities, shopping, and entertainment destinations throughout the region," said Larry Salci, president and chief executive officer of Metro.

The extension will add eight miles to the existing 38-mile light rail system, which now connects Shiloh, Ill., at Scott Air Force Base, with Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. It includes nine new stations: Skinker, University City-Big Bend, Forsyth, Clayton, Richmond Heights, Brentwood I-64, Maplewood-Manchester, Sunnen, and Shrewsbury-Lansdowne I-44.

Metro noted that construction of the Cross County MetroLink Extension began in the spring of 2003, and was funded completely with local funds through the Proposition M sales tax passed in both St. Louis City and St. Louis County in August 1994.

In conjunction with the opening of the Cross County Extension, Metro has instituted changes to all MetroBus routes in Missouri.

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