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citizens for Modern Transit

Executive Director of Citizens for Modern Transit Honored for 25 Years of Furthering Public Transit in Region

in Associations/News/People

Public transit in the St. Louis region plays a key role in providing access and equality, creating jobs, building stronger economies and furthering the vibrancy of local neighborhoods. The strength of the local system is a result of the unwavering commitment of many local leaders, businesses and organizations – including Kimberly Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT), who was recently celebrated for 25 years of furthering public transit in the region. Her vision, tenacity and extraordinary leadership continues to play an integral role in maintaining a safe, integrated and affordable system for the St. Louis region.

A celebration was held in Cella’s honor on Jan. 30 at the BJC Learning Institute to recognize her for her many accomplishments over the past 25 years. Formal remarks were made by local transit industry leaders, before St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar presented Cella with a proclamation issued by St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, naming it “Kimberly Cella Day” in St. Louis County.

“Kim has spent the past 25 years standing up for transit,” said Rose Windmiller, of Washington University in St. Louis, who served on CMT’s board for over a decade before being named to Bi-State Development’s Board of Commissioners in July 2018. “I’ve witnessed her many accomplishments first hand. She is fiercely committed to the mission.”

Cella joined CMT out of college in 1993 and served as business and marketing manager for seven years, helping to grow membership by 200 percent. She then served as program director for 10 years, successfully securing millions of dollars in grant funding and launching the Ten Toe Express program, which has grown to serve 8,000+ area older adults by allowing them to experience how easy it is to integrate walking with public transit use to get around town. She was promoted to executive director in 2010 and has made great strides in promoting and expanding access to transit.

Through her guidance as executive director, she helped secure a federal grant under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program to conduct the Central Corridor Feasibility Study, which laid the groundwork for the development of the newly opened Cortex MetroLink Station. More than 6,000 St. Louisans have overcome the perceived hurdles associated with using MetroLink and MetroBus by “test driving” the transit system through a program she created, called “Try & Ride.” She has also made strides to raise awareness about placemaking and transit-oriented development, helped spearhead the MetroLink Access Project to improve fare validation at three highly utilized MetroLink stations and significantly contributed to the work to improve the safety and security of the MetroLink system.

During Cella’s 25-year tenure, she is credited with raising more than $10 million in grant funding to establish and maintain programming to increase public transit ridership. These efforts have been recognized with several local, regional and national awards. Over these years, CMT helped build support for MetroLink extensions to East St. Louis, Belleville and Swansea and rallied support for Proposition A in 2010, which passed by 63 percent and restored service cuts and provided capital funding for future transit projects.

“Kim has heart and passion,” said Taulby Roach, president and CEO of Bi-State Development and current CMT board member. “Transit is a community that needs to be bolstered, loved and cared for. She is one of many talents making that happen, and I look forward to our continued partnership.”

Cella also serves as the executive director of the Missouri Public Transit Association where she helps provide a unified voice for public and specialized transportation providers in Missouri and elevates the status of public transit as a national priority. She resides in Affton.

To learn more about Kim Cella and Citizens for Modern Transit’s efforts to further transit development in the St. Louis region, call (314) 231-7272, find the organization on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @cmt_stl.

Citizens for Modern Transit is a nonprofit, member supported organization that leads efforts for an integrated, affordable, and convenient public transportation system with light rail expansion as the critical component that will drive economic growth to improve quality of life in the St. Louis region.

Citizens for Modern Transit to Host “Talking Transit” Event on Jan 9th

in Associations/News

Interactive Session to Highlight Metro Transit’s New Transit Plan as it Nears Completion, Gives Attendees Final Opportunity to Weigh-in

Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) is inviting area residents to take part in a special “Talking Transit” event, featuring Jessica Mefford-Miller, executive director of Metro Transit. The event follows a series of public meetings held by Metro Transit on its “Metro Reimagined” transit plan and will give CMT members, and the community at-large, a final opportunity to weigh-in on the proposed plan as it nears completion. Brief remarks will also be made by Taulby Roach, the new president and CEO of Bi-State Development. Metro Transit is one of five Bi-State Development enterprises. The event is being held on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 5:30 p.m. in the Lower Level Auditorium of the BJC Learning Center, located at 8300 Eager Road, which is accessible by MetroLink and MetroBus.

Metro Reimagined kicked off in 2017 with a study designed to take a proactive look at the mobility needs of the region, evaluate the potential of new technology and innovative transit concepts, and provide a framework for phased improvements that can be implemented within Metro Transit’s current budget. Using the data collected, Metro Transit proposed a new transit plan that aims to deliver shorter waits, faster trips and better connections for customers. The plan has been shared widely during an extensive public and community engagement process and is nearing completion. Additional information about the Metro Reimagined can be found at www.metrostlouis.org/reimagined/.

“Metro Transit is to be commended for all of the time and hard work it has invested to develop a workable transit plan that meets the needs of local transit riders,” said Kimberly Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “We are looking forward to this interactive session and the opportunity it will provide for input and discussion as the transit plan is finalized.”

Registration for the Talking Transit event can be completed online at https://cmt-stl.org/ or by arriving early to the event. The cost is free for CMT members and $10 for non-members. For non-members that would like to attend but have personal financial constraints, CMT offers a limited number of scholarships for each of the Talking Transit events. To learn more about the event, or for more information on Citizens for Modern Transit and its efforts to further transit development in the St. Louis region, call (314) 231-7272, find the organization on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @cmt_stl.

Citizens for Modern Transit is a nonprofit, member supported organization that leads efforts for an integrated, affordable, and convenient public transportation system with light rail expansion as the critical component that will drive economic growth to improve quality of life in the St. Louis region.

Citizens For Modern Transit Recognizes “Champions Of Transit” At Its 34th Annual Meeting

in Associations/News

As part of its 34th annual meeting, Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) recently celebrated the incredible efforts of several individuals for their exemplary commitment to championing transit in the St. Louis area. During the event, which was held last week, CMT presented awards to City of St. Louis Alderman Terry Kennedy, City of St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards, St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson, City of St. Louis Alderman Joe Roddy and former CMT Board Chair Rose Windmiller. Recipients were recognized for their ongoing commitment to moving transit forward in the St. Louis area.

L to R: Kim Cella, Executive Director of Citizens for Modern Transit; Jimmie Edwards, City of St. Louis Public Safety Director; Sherriff Rick Watson, St. Clair County Sherriff’s Department; June McAllister Fowler, Chair of Citizens for Modern Transit’s Board of Directors. Not pictured is Terry Kennedy, City of St. Louis Alderman (Ward 18).

City of St. Louis Alderman (Ward 18) Terry Kennedy, City of St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards and St. Clair County Sherriff Rick Watson were recognized with a 2018 New Initiatives Award for a new collaborative effort to help further the safety and security of MetroLink on both sides of the Mississippi River. Through their efforts, bills were passed to support a mutual aid agreement between the City of St. Louis Police Department and the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department to expand patrols in St. Clair County to MetroLink stations in St. Louis City, giving officers the opportunity to provide more seamless coverage of the system.

L to R: Kim Cella, Executive Director of Citizens for Modern Transit; Joe Roddy, City of St. Louis Alderman (Ward 17); June McAllister Fowler, Chair of Citizens for Modern Transit’s Board of Directors

The 2018 Chairman’s Award was presented to St. Louis Alderman (Ward 17) Joe Roddy for his vision, foresight and leadership associated with the development of the new Cortex MetroLink Station, which opened to the public on July 31. He understood the importance of an infill station and helped build positive momentum, excitement and grassroots support to put this project into motion nearly a decade ago.

L to R: Kim Cella, Executive Director of Citizens for Modern Transit and Rose Windmiller, former Citizens for Modern Transit Board Chair and current member of Bi-State Development’s Board of Commissioners.

Former Citizens for Modern Transit Board Chair Rose Windmiller was also honored with the 2018 Service Award for her longtime service to the organization, which spanned more than 20 years. Under her leadership, CMT spearheaded the feasibility study for the Cortex Station, ensured transit was a key component of the Forward through Ferguson discussions, secured millions in funding for ridership programming, improved security on the system and much more.

For more information about Citizens for Modern Transit, visit www.cmt-stl.org or call (314) 231-7272. You can also find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @cmt_stl.

Citizens for Modern Transit is a not-for-profit organization in St. Louis whose mission is to expand the light rail system in order to build more sustainable, accessible communities in the region. 

Citizens for Modern Transit & St. Louis Regional Chamber to Host “Talking Transit” Event on June 21st

in Associations/News

Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) and the St. Louis Regional Chamber are inviting area residents to take part in a special “Talking Transit” event highlighting the MetroLink Security Assessment currently underway in the St. Louis region. The presentation will be led by Lurae Stuart and Angela Starr of the New-York based consulting firm hired to execute the 8-month, $400,000 study. The event is being held on Thursday, June 21, at 8:30 a.m. at the St. Louis Regional Chamber Collaboration Center, located at One Metropolitan Square, Ste. 1300 (63102).

The MetroLink Security Assessment was authorized by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments in March and is being led by WSP USA, Inc. The goal of the assessment is to take a comprehensive look at current security policies on MetroLink. From there, recommendations will be made for improvements related to technology, environmental design and human capital deployment. Those in the attendance at the “Talking Transit” event will hear from the individuals who are spearheading the study and gain insight into what is planned for the coming months.

“WSP USA consultants will draw on decades of experience in the operation, maintenance and safety and security of light-rail systems nationwide to recommend a workable plan to improve our local system,” said Kim Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “This is yet another step to actively address local challenges and continue to help the community regain confidence in safe and secure rides.”

Registration for the Talking Transit event can be completed online at  https://cmt-stl.org/ or by arriving early to the event. The cost is free for CMT members and $10 for non-members. To learn more about the event, or for more information on Citizens for Modern Transit and its efforts to further transit development in the St. Louis region, call (314) 231-7272, find the organization on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @cmt_stl. 

Citizens for Modern Transit is a nonprofit, member supported organization that leads efforts for an integrated, affordable, and convenient public transportation system with light rail expansion as the critical component that will drive economic growth to improve quality of life in the St. Louis region.

Public Invited to Panel Discussion on Further Unifying a Region for Growth through Transit, Hosted by Citizens for Modern Transit

in Associations/News

Event is Free, but Registration is Required 

Public transit plays a critical part in our region’s transportation system. In recent months, elected officials, local stakeholders and community members created a collaborative network to address ridership issues, including enhanced safety and security measures. To help explore opportunities to further these collaborative efforts, Citizens for Modern Transit is bringing together local experts for a panel discussion, titled Further Unifying a Region for Growth through Transit.” The event is set for Thursday, Feb. 8, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the lower level auditorium at the BJC Learning Center, located at 8300 Eager Road, St. Louis, MO 63144. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required and can be completed at https://cmt-stl.org or by calling 314-231-7272.

Those in attendance will receive an update on the Northside/Southside MetroLink Study from Lead Consultant Dan Meyers of AECOM, before the panelists take the stage. Bethany Johnson-Javois, chief executive officer of St. Louis Integrated Health Network, will reinforce the intersection between healthcare access, equity and transit; Rudy Nickens, director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity for the Missouri Department of Transportation will highlight how transportation can help build inclusive communities; and Jim Wild, executive director of East-West Gateway, will address the role collaboration plays in the establishment of a vision. The discussion will conclude with a question and answer session. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

“Collaboration serves as a rock-solid foundation from which to build,” said Kimberly Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “Now, we must ensure all parties have a sound understanding of how transit access impacts the region, identify where the current system may be falling short and how to overcome it. This panel of thought leaders will help us identify next steps and work together to turn the vision into reality.”

To learn more about this panel discussion or Citizens for Modern Transit and its efforts to further transit development in the St. Louis region, call (314) 231-7272, visit https://cmt-stl.org, find the organization on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @cmt_stl. 

Citizens for Modern Transit is a nonprofit, member supported organization that leads efforts for an integrated, affordable, and convenient public transportation system with light rail expansion as the critical component that will drive economic growth to improve quality of life in the St. Louis region

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