Mass Transit

DEC 2014 -JAN 2015

Mass Transit magazine features agency profiles, industry trends, management tips and new product information.

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DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 | MassTransitmag.com | Mass Transit | 11 In 1993, the Chester- feld Valley fooded. It was mostly farm- land at that time and Nations lost an election running for ofce saying the valley needed to be developed. People said that shouldn't happen and he lost. He got involved in the city afer that and ended up on the city's industrial development board, on the TIF commission, and became chairman of the TIF commission. Tey did a $72 million TIF and put in infrastructure; not the de- velopments themselves, but the infrastructure. He said. "We developed Chesterfeld Valley from an inundated foodplain in 1993 to what is widely considered one of the best uses of tax increment fnancing in the country." When he was 38, he was elected mayor of Ches- terfeld and in the spring of 2009, transit service to Chesterfeld was going to be eliminated due to funding constraints. Nations said there were 26,000 full-time jobs in the city of Chesterfeld and while not all of them take transit, when it comes to the nursing homes, hospitals, a lot of the retail space, they depended on it. He worked out a deal with Metro putting up city funds in order to keep the buses running. "To me it's an essential element of an economic development strategy," said Nations. By the numbers Gateway Arch Tram Rides: 885,165 Riverfront Attractions Passengers: 120,723 Gateway Parking Vehicle Transactions: 210,394 "When you look at economic development, what are the elements of economic growth? What are the el- ements of a successful community? One of the things you need to have is good public transportation." He was asked if he would be interested in being president of the Bi-State Development Agency. It was a nice conversation, Nations said, but he felt it was synonymous with transit, and his background wasn't in transit. "My background is economic de- velopment ... that's what I do," said Nations. "Tat's my passion; I am not a career transit guy." A few months later he was called by the agency to help in getting a sales tax to support transit in St. Louis County. It had been put on the ballot twice before and had failed twice before. It was late 2009, early 2010. Te Tea Party was on the rise, there an anti-tax sentiment, and the economy was in bad shape. Nations said, "You're talking about going out to the voters and saying, 'By the way, we want to pass another tax.'" He led the campaign and there was more than 60 percent in support. Metro THE SIEMENS LRV is getting ready to turn 100 million miles with no midlife overhaul.

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