CHICAGO - St. Louis' Metro has settled on restructuring plans for two pieces of its debt as the transit agency seeks to chip away at a series of operational and capital challenges that prompted a two-notch downgrade earlier this year and drove steep service cuts.

The financings come as the agency's near-term troubles have eased a bit, thanks to additional federal bailout funding. The agency's hopes for a longer-lasting solution to its red ink lie in building public support for a sales tax increase that is expected to appear on the April ballot. Voters rejected a half-cent increase last November, prompting deep service cuts and a 25% reduction in the agency's work force.

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