Register, and vote yes on Prop A

St. Louis has another chance in April to pump some much-needed money into its struggling Metro system. Although Proposition M originally failed in November 2008, it will be back on the ballot as Proposition A—a slightly revised version of its predecessor.

Proposition M was proposed legislation that would fund Metro transportation through a half-cent sales tax increase in St. Louis County. Had Prop M passed, an estimated 80 million dollars would have been put into public transportation in the St. Louis area.

Unfortunately, we blew it—Prop M failed to pass in 2008. As a result, operating hours were shortened and stops were slashed, among other changes. As Wash. U. students, an overwhelming majority of us rely on public transportation in some way, shape or form throughout our student lives.

There is an upside, however—we have been given another shot at the proposition, now slightly modified and rebranded as Proposition A. While the name has changed, the bill’s soul remains intact: Prop A seeks to charge a half-cent sales tax to fund transit service expansion.

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As students, we owe it not only to ourselves individually, but to other students and community members on campus that depend on public transportation for their daily needs, to make sure we vote for the measure in April.

But there is a catch: You must register by March 10 in order to be eligible to vote on the bill in April. Registration is as easy as making a trip to the Gephardt Institute on campus. Being proactive is crucial in ensuring eligibility. The more people who register, the better the chance that Proposition A will pass and the Wash. U. community and St. Louis community subsequently reap the benefits from a thriving public transportation system.

We can’t let this opportunity pass us by again—register as soon as possible.

  • Kevin

    Imagine the bright young person … “Well, Boston has the Atlantic, Chicago has Lake Michigan, Denver has the mountains, Miami has the beach, but by golly, St. Louis has that great light rail system, so I guess I’ll move there.” Yeah, right.

    It won’t affect people wanting to move there, but it may affect people *willing* to move there for a job. Should I take the good job in St. Louis, or the passable job in Seattle? There are a lot of factors, but the fact that Seattle’s transit system is good and improving while St. Louis’s seems poor and degrading would be a big part of it for me.

  • Konnie

    Hey all you people who have no idea what your talking about when it comes to Prop A. If it fails again over 700 metro employees will lose their jobs for up to two years including my husband. Thats just metro employees not others who work other places that depend on Metro to get to work who won’t be able to. I hope you need a nurse or doctor who depends on Metro who won’t be there because your uneducated and voted no!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nick.kasoff Nick Kasoff

    St. Louis is a great city already, but it does not rival cities like Chicago and Boston in terms of retaining young people. One of the biggest differences is well-placed and reliable public transit

    I always get a chuckle out of this statement. Imagine the bright young person … “Well, Boston has the Atlantic, Chicago has Lake Michigan, Denver has the mountains, Miami has the beach, but by golly, St. Louis has that great light rail system, so I guess I’ll move there.” Yeah, right.

  • Martha B

    St. Louis is a great city already, but it does not rival cities like Chicago and Boston in terms of retaining young people. One of the biggest differences is well-placed and reliable public transit to get you anywhere in the city. If we weren’t forced to drive to go out, the number of drunk drivers and accidents related to this in St. Louis would decrease. This should be very important for students who routinely go out and drink. In Boston, there is very little drunk driving problem, and I am sure that public transit (and many more cabs available ) is a factor. Another thought is this: gasoline WILL get more expensive. When this happens, places with good public transit will become meccas, and cities without this access will suffer. Let’s pass Prop A and guarantee the vitality of our city for years to come.

  • Kevin L.

    Every public transportation system is a money pit. That’s a fact of life unfortunately. Yet they are indispensable, much like other services. Schools, fire departments, and police lose money but we support them wholeheartedly. Missouri spends far less on public transit than most other states, much to the detriment of those who can’t afford cars. Cutting metro will only serve to make St. Louis even more pedestrian-unfriendly.

    People also forget that a lot of people use the metro for their primary transport. 75% of WashU employees do. When Prop M failed, many people did lose their jobs.

  • Eric

    Do you people get out into St. Louis AT ALL? If you have seen any of St. Louis within the last year, you would already know that the lack of funding resulted in Metro cutting stops all over St. Louis City and County, resulting in the “sorry, this line has been cut” notices getting draped over bus stop signs in virtually every corner of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area.

    This bill is not about free rides for Wash. U. students. Please get your head out of the campus bubble. This bill is ALL ABOUT restoring the ability of said broadly defined current poor to have transportation to employment. Prop M failed because St. Louis County residents with cars (i.e. not poor) did not adequately understand or care about the need of public transit to provide access to employment.

    (And incidentally, if you aren’t current or past WU students, but members of the Citizens for Better Transit trolling a student newspaper website, what on earth is the “better transit”? Reliance on cars and highway systems, one of the things that makes St. Louis an unattractive city to WU graduates in the first place?)

  • Malik Shabaaz

    Hey Emily: Don’t think Phillip isn’t in support of public transit. He’s merely against blind taxation for an unknown return.

    Metrolink should be completely taken off the table. It’s a money pit.

    Question: What metrolink line will get built if Prop A passes? Can you answer that? 80 million bucks a year says you can’t.

  • Emily Beck

    Philip, it’s become common knowledge that transit serves the urban poor–broadly defined–for basic needs like getting to work and to buy groceries, while it serves those who can use alternate means by choice (i.e., they can afford a car and the energy resources to operate it, and take it to a Cards game).

    Moreover, while I agree that there isn’t much statistical info in the article, I think it still serves the audience it purports to serve. What are the NON “self-serving” (your word) arguments in opposition to Prop A? Are there any? If so, why aren’t you offering an alternative opinion?

  • Philip Christofanelli

    This article is disgustingly self-serving. Studlife makes an argument which is the intellectual (and I use the term loosely) equivalent of “Tax the poor because we want free rides”. Aren’t you the same people that came out in support of banning tomatoes? What little credibility you may have is lost with this propaganda piece utterly devoid of fact and information.