Bi-State Development Research Institute Receives Arcus Award for Achievement for Public Policy
The St. Louis Regional Chamber presented the Bi-State Development Research Institute with an Arcus Award for Achievement for Public Policy at the 5th Annual Arcus Awards on March 1. Each year, St. Louis Regional Chamber honors companies, organizations and institutions who make St. Louis a more attractive place to live, work and invest. The Bi-State Development Research Institute was recognized for its work addressing regional issues related to health care and fresh food access, including the launch of a program offering mobile health screenings at Metro Transit locations in underserved communities and fresh food kiosks providing healthy food options at two MetroLink stations in areas of North St. Louis County identified as “food deserts.”
“The Bi-State Development Research Institute is one of our newer enterprises, and it is already delivering a tremendous positive impact to the St. Louis region,“ said John Nations, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bi-State Development. “In a relatively short time, the Research Institute has created key partnerships and secured more than $1.5 million in funding to support programs to improve the quality of life in the region. Director John Wagner and his entire team have earned this recognition.”
“One of our goals is to focus on how the region can take full advantage of more than $2 billion in transit infrastructure, and identify ways this investment can be even more valuable to the community,” said John Wagner, Director of the Bi-State Development Research Institute. “With the help of our partners, we launched two programs at several key transit locations to address critical needs in the St. Louis region, and we are very excited that they have been so well received by the community. The Arcus Award recognition helps validate all of the hard work that has gone into turning these initiatives into viable options.”
Link Market Food Kiosks
The U.S. Department of Agriculture identifies areas in the St. Louis region, particularly in North St. Louis County, as food deserts. Those are locations where there is a lack of access to grocery stores with fresh, healthy food options. To address this need, the Bi-State Development Research Institute partnered with the Missouri Foundation for Health to launch the Link Market Food Kiosk program in late 2017. Open for business five days a week at the North Hanley and Wellston Transit Centers, the Link Market kiosks offer fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, bread and other healthy household staples for Metro Transit riders and residents in nearby communities who do not have an easy, convenient way to get to the grocery store. This pilot program is being funded by a nearly $584,000 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health.
Links 2 Health Mobile Screening Program
Free mobile basic health screenings are offered weekly at four Metro Transit Centers in North St. Louis County as part of a program with the Bi-State Development Research Institute, Metro Transit and the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. The Links 2 Health Mobile Screening Vehicle visits the Wellston, Rock Road, North Hanley and North County Transit Centers to provide public transit riders and nearby residents with free basic health care screenings and assessments, as well as assistance in applying for medical insurance and follow-up primary care. The goal is to help an underserved population establish connections to regular, affordable, long-term health care resources. The Bi-State Development Research Institute was awarded a $940,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration to fund the pilot program which launched in December 2017.
Created in 2015, the Bi-State Development Research Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit enterprise of Bi-State Development. It was established to research and develop data on land use, public policy and return on investment of local programs, public infrastructure and real estate improvements. This research provides regional leaders with the information they need to make informed decisions to advance the growth of the bi-state area.
Another Bi-State Development enterprise, St. Louis Regional Freightway, was named as a finalist for the Arcus Award for Achievement in Logistics. The St. Louis Regional Freightway was formed to create a regional freight district and comprehensive authority for freight operations and opportunities within eight counties in Illinois and Missouri and Missouri which comprise the St. Louis metropolitan area. Public sector and private industry businesses are partnering with the St. Louis Regional Freightway to establish the bi-state region as one of the premier multimodal freight hubs and distribution centers in the United States through marketing, public advocacy, and freight and infrastructure development.
About Bi-State Development
Bi-State Development (BSD) owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport and the Gateway Arch Riverboats, as well as operates the Gateway Arch Revenue Collections Center and Gateway Arch trams. 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; a MetroBus vehicle fleet of approximately 400 vehicles operating on 83 MetroBus routes; and Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 120 vans. BSD also operates the Bi-State Development Research Institute and the St. Louis Regional Freightway, the region’s freight district.