ST. LOUIS -- Ridership on St. Louis' public transit is plummeting as the light-rail system moves toward its first expansion in more than a decade.
MetroLink and buses have seen a 20 percent drop in passengers over the last five years. Metro Transit has been assessing how to reverse the trend as local officials pursue a new north-south line.
Jessica Mefford-Miller is executive director of Metro Transit. She says serious crime has been a factor, as well as a stagnant population and the low cost of driving to work in the area.
Mefford-Miller says riders have become frustrated with panhandlers, smokers, fare evaders and disruptive passengers.
Mefford-Miller aims to stabilize and eventually increase ridership by ensuring police and security are visible on trains and interacting with riders.