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ST. LOUIS–The Board of Directors for Bi-State Development on Friday morning approved an agreement that could help save the troubled Loop Trolley project, ahead of a March 1 deadline from federal transportation officials.

The troubled trolley project, which generated less than $33,000 in 11 months of operation before shutting down in December 2019, was built using $22 million in federal funds. Late last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation warned that it could start the process of pulling that money back if trolley service wasn’t restored by this summer, and triggered fears that the region would be at risk when it came to securing federal funding for other projects.

Under the agreement approved Friday, the Transportation Development District Board that oversees the trolley would contract with Bi-State for operations.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, who now heads the oversight board for the trolley, got a one-month extension from the federal government at the end of January to come up with a lifeline. The agreement is contingent on being able to secure a grant from the East-West Gateway Council for funds to pay for trolley operations.

The trolley would operate for 32 hours per week between Thursday and Sunday.