About Us - Tom Shrout


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Tom Shrout





Building on an historic overwhelming win at the ballot box for an increased tax for St. Louis transit and serving 22 years at the helm of Citizens for Modern Transit, Tom Shrout has joined his wife Debra in forming the consulting company, Avvantt Partners LLC with the goal of assisting communities and institutions with making positive public policy changes and to improve their position in the community whether it be a transit agency, university, business or not-for-profit.

Tom recently worked with Missourians for Better Transportation Solutions to score a victory at the ballot box in August, 2014 with a state-wide grassroots, low-budget, social media driven campaign.Tom spent two years working on a transit education program for Jackson County, Missouri for their regional rail initiative.  From stakeholders to public outreach to champions, he worked on building a grassroots coalition of supporters, developing a media campaign, and forming a transit education committee. 

In 2012 Tom worked on the Missouri State Rail plan, developed and lead a conference for the Conservation Law Foundation - Boston, consulted on plans for a future transit funding campaign for Transit for Livable Communities in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and assisted the Fort Worth Transportation Authority on next step plans.

In 2013 Tom continued to work on the transit education program in Jackson County as well as designing a transit education plan in Georgia.  Two study projects were in the mix of work in 2013 - one involved deconstructing the defeat of a transit measure and the second focused on research for a future transit initiative.

Tom's background with building transit education programs began in the Spring of 2010, when Shrout conceived, managed and produced an outreach program to the citizens of St. Louis County about the benefits of transit to everyone in the community whether they were riders or not. The result was a 63 percent win at the polls for a transit tax in the midst of a bad economy and coming off a defeat of an identical measure only 17 months before. This was the capstone to his career that over the 22 year period saw 44 miles of light rail built, $15 billion in new development around MetroLink Stations and a 65 percent growth in transit ridership.



For its work under Shrout's leadership to improve transit in St. Louis, CMT was recognized as the 1994 recipient of the "Sold on St. Louis Award." Shrout also was recognized for his efforts with MetroLink being selected as the 1994 recipient of the prestigious "St. Louis Award." The St. Louis Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America selected Shrout as its 1994 recipient of the Lamplighter award. In addition under Shrout’s leadership, the EPA and the American Lung Association have cited CMT for its successful ridership initiatives that have led to cleaner air in the St. Louis Region.

Tom has served on the national steering committee of the Rail~Volution Conference which is focused on building livable communities with rail transit, is past chair of the National Association of Public Transit Advocates and on the Board of the Center for Transportation Excellence.

Shrout is a 1970 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. During college he worked in broadcast journalism. He formerly was a reporter for the Associated Press in New York City. Prior to coming to CMT, he worked for 15 years at Truman State University, winning numerous awards for marketing and public affairs.

Shrout is active in civic affairs. He served as president of the St. Louis Family Support Network which works for the prevention of Child Abuse. In 1990 he was appointed to the Board of Governors of Truman University where he served as secretary and President of the board. He served as the citizens representative on of the Missouri Public Transit Association Board of Directors. He served as vice chairman of the board of his neighborhood association and past secretary of a special taxing district. Shrout lives in downtown Los Angeles with his wife, Debra.