For many years people often referred to the Bi-State Development Agency as Metro, the public transit arm of the development agency. However, Bi-State does more than just provide public transportation in the region.
Bi-State Development Agency, the parent agency of Metro, has launched a renewed marketing effort to promote the Bi-State Development brand as more than just a transit agency, and emphasize its role in development.
“We’re refreshing our brand,” said Patti Beck, the agency’s director of communications.
The agency has launched a new website promoting all of the enterprises, including the Gateway Arch Riverfront, the St. Louis Downtown Airport, the Bi-State Development Research Institute and a recently created regional freight district.
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“We obviously still have our other entities,” Beck said.
In 1949, Congress passed legislation, which was signed by President Harry Truman in 1950, to create the Bi-State Development with a focus on promoting economic development in Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties in Illinois, and the City of St. Louis and Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties in Missouri.
“We’ve done many things since that time,” Beck said.
Since its creation, Bi-State Development has worked with both private and public entities on projects to create thousands of jobs on both sides of the Mississippi River.
However, Metro, the name of the public transit enterprise, had been the default name for all of Bi-State’s operations since 2003.
“While the Metro brand name and logo will not change for the public transit enterprise, Bi-State Development is being restored as the parent company name,” Bi-State said in announcing the effort. “The name change will better reflect the many ways this multi-faceted resource for economic development positively impacts the bi-state area by providing real solutions to regional challenges.”
Bi-State’s newest initiative is the regional freight district, which was created after a study commissioned by the East-West Gateway.
“She literally is creating that from the ground up,” Beck said.
Bi-State does plan in the future to christen the regional freight district with a proper name, she said.
The regional freight district has some main focuses from its outset:
▪ It has been charged with preparing a freight analysis to help the region identify opportunities from an expected 60 percent increase in national freight volume during the next 25 years.
▪ Lamie also has to help develop a regional economic freight development plan that includes projects and initiatives that align economic development with supply chain and increasing freight velocity. The area’s freight infrastructure includes the nation’s second largest inland port, third largest rail hub, two full-service airports, 15 pipelines and connections to several major interstate highways.
▪ The district also is charged with marketing the region as a “premier freight distribution hub.” The area is a one-day truck drive from Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Cleveland, Minneapolis and New Orleans.
For more information, visit www.bistatedev.org to learn more about Bi-State and its re-branding effort.