Tom Shrout wraps up 22 years at CMT

From Citizens for Modern Transit:

For the last 22 years, Tom Shrout, Executive Director of CMT, has led the advocacy effort in behalf of our area’s transit system. Yesterday was Tom's last day with the organization. In a letter to CMT members, Shrout challenged the CMT Board, members and friends to keep transit a priority for the region.

"I am leaving behind regional challenges that CMT can help address. First the expansion of MetroLink must be in the corridors where it will have the most impact; and, the expansion should return to the principals that were sacred on the first alignment to the Airport and the second one to Shiloh/Scott; keep the costs down.

Second, the region needs to get smart about land use decisions. MetroLink offers a huge opportunity to provide the frame work for building mixed use, walkable neighborhoods that are highly prized by empty nesters, young professionals, workers, the creative class and the elderly. Local government needs to take the leadership to make sure the investment in a MetroLink Station is not business as usual for developers but rather a framework for a new St. Louis. The $15 billion in development around MetroLink to date, is just the start if we get this right.

Third, the state of Missouri needs to rethink its transportation policy and offer its residents a program that supports the desire and need of urban Missouri to capitalize on its economic growth potential with a rich array of transportation choices including transit, biking, walking and high speed rail. The growth of population and jobs is in urban America. Prosperous cities will help provide a tax base to support education and health care services across the state. Missouri must be strategic in its transportation policy.

Finally, federal transportation policy is more transit and high speed rail friendly. Will the St. Louis region and the state of Missouri be in a position to capitalize on the these opportunities? Certainly, Proposition A is a start. The region must make the case to our congressional delegation that our local investment in the Cross County expansion should count as the local match for a future MetroLink expansion. Congress did this for Houston in the last transportation bill. Congress should do it for St. Louis in the next bill.

I treasure my time at CMT. When I first started at CMT, my late mother worried that I had made a mistake in career choice. She saw a small fragile organization whose future she questioned. She had underestimated the commitment of our members, the strength of our board and the nobility of our purpose. Thank you for the opportunity. We have made a difference in the future of St. Louis."

CMT has created the Tom Shrout Endowment Fund for educational purposes to move transit forward in the region.  This special fund will serve as a lasting legacy to the man who has done so much to further the cause of public transit.

Donations can be made online at or a check made payable to Citizens for Modern Transit can be mailed to CMT, 911 Washington, Ste. 200, St. Louis, MO 63101.  Thank you for your consideration in advance and for helping to keep transit bright for the region. All gifts to CMT are tax-deductible.

The staff and CMT Board of Directors wish Tom all the best on his future endeavors.