Editorials

Quick fix on MetroLink crime spots better than awaiting full fix

A Metro security guard checks tickets at the Fairview Heights MetroLink station. A $3.6-million study will help decide whether barriers and turnstiles will improve security on the mass transit system.
A Metro security guard checks tickets at the Fairview Heights MetroLink station. A $3.6-million study will help decide whether barriers and turnstiles will improve security on the mass transit system. dholtmann@bnd.com

Regional leaders intend to spend $3.6 million to study locking down the MetroLink light rail system with barriers and turnstiles. Some of the money will be used for preliminary design work.

After two murders they are taking security on the transit system seriously with a unified police command and shared intelligence about events and characters along the 47-mile system. Controlling access is another step to securing mass transit.

But is buttoning up the whole thing the right way to tackle the problem? Do we need to spend $3.6 million to figure out what’s wrong with the system when we already know some of the answers and could fix trouble spots now?

They know from their staffers where the problems are. The public knows Union Station MetroLink stop is a problem, the Forest Park station is a problem and Fairview Heights has been a problem, with a guard punched in the face in April.

Maybe they should start with the known issues. They might fix the bulk of the problems quickly and cheaply, rather than taking the usual government path of creating a universal solution to a specific problem.

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