The Board of Commissioners of Bi-State Development (BSD) approved a three-year operating and capital budget during this morning’s Board meeting, which includes no increase in operational expenses for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 from the last fiscal year.
The budget outlines operational expenses before depreciation of $323.2 million for FY 2017, and projected operational expenses before depreciation of $332.6 million for FY 2018 and $339.7 million for FY 2019. The FY 2017 budget does not include a fare increase for the Metro transit system.
“Through careful and thoughtful management of our financial resources, we are able to maximize our potential as an economic engine for the region while ensuring that we continue to make smart, responsible investments,” said John Nations, President and CEO of Bi-State Development. “By taking advantage of opportunities and efficiencies, we are able to maintain our operational expenses for fiscal year 2017 at the same level as fiscal year 2016, while we continue to build and maintain a strong, solid foundation for growth and development in the region.”
The approved budget allocates resources to operate Bi-State Development; the Metro transit system; operations at the Gateway Arch and the Gateway Arch Riverfront Attractions; St. Louis Downtown Airport; as well as the organization’s newest enterprises, the Bi-State Development Research Institute and the region’s freight district; and Arts In Transit, the non-profit entity that supports public art and community engagement programs.
BSD also outlined a three-year capital budget totaling $665.1 million, with $633.9 million allocated to Metro, $15.2 million to the Gateway Arch and $15.9 million to St. Louis Downtown Airport. Major capital expenditures planned for this period include expansion of the Civic Center Transit Center, rehabilitation of the tunnel below Union Station, construction of a new MetroLink station at Boyle Avenue and the extension of the Central West End MetroLink platform. The replacement of the motor generator sets for the Gateway Arch trams and development of a new Tucker Theatre experience at the Gateway Arch; and construction of new taxiways and other infrastructure improvements at St. Louis Downtown Airport are also in the three-year capital budget.
This is the first year the budget includes operational projections for multiple fiscal years and will better provide for long-range planning and strategy development. Each year, these projections will be reassessed to ensure their accuracy, and they will be evaluated and adjusted, if necessary. The budget must be approved by the Board of Commissioners each year.
About Bi-State Development
Bi-State Development (BSD) is the operator of the Metro public transportation system for the St. Louis region, which includes the 87 vehicle, 46-mile MetroLink light rail system; 391 MetroBus vehicle fleet that operates on 77 MetroBus routes; and Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 120 vans. BSD also owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport and its surrounding industrial business park, and the Gateway Arch Riverboats, as well as operates the Gateway Arch Revenue Collections Center and Gateway Arch trams. BSD also operates the Bi-State Development Research Institute and the St. Louis Regional Freightway, the region’s freight partnership.