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Bi-State seeks more information before committing to takeover Loop Trolley

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ST. LOUIS – The future of the troubled Delmar Loop Trolley was discussed Tuesday at a Bi-State Development. The agency is considering taking over the operation of the trolley.

It's no secret the Loop Trolley has been a failure to this point. Now the only thing that could possibly save it is the Bi-State Development Agency. The agency approved more time for CEO Taulby Roach to get more answers on a possible takeover.

The board had a spirited debate on whether or not to take over the Loop Trolley. The question facing the board: would it benefit Bi-State, the region, and taxpayers?

The board ultimately decided to let Roach get more information and answers to questions they have. Roach says he has come up with a plan to operate it for four more years with no additional expense.

At present, the Loop Trolley is scheduled to shut down on December 29. The estimated cost to keep it running is $956,000. Trolley management has asked St. Louis city and county leadership for the funds.

Roach says if the tax district that represents St. Louis defaults on the loan with the Federal Transit Administration by not operating the trolley—which received federal money—it would ultimately hurt the region from getting future federal dollars.

Roach expects to report back to the commissioners in the quarter of 2020.

Statement from County Executive Sam Page on Bi-State proposal to take over operations of Loop Trolley:

 “I have maintained that for the Loop Trolley to be successful, it must have new leadership, a long term plan and a funding source that is not St. Louis County. The Bi-State plan seems to fulfill my three goals. But I will watch what happens closely to make sure St. Louis County residents aren’t taken advantage of.”

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