UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – After nearly two years of being shut down for financial reasons, there could be a light at the end of the tunnel for the oft-maligned Loop Trolley.
Trolley managers are vying for millions in federal tax dollars. Supporters said those funds would allow the trolley to operate for another two years and it would be free to ride.
It cost local taxpayers $51 million to build the 2.2-mile trolley system on Delmar.
“This is a minor part to make this go. Let’s be positive and correct things, make it better rather than give up, and let’s correct things and don’t throw it away,” said Joe Edwards, Delmar Loop businessman and advocate. “All the construction had been done. The track is in and the hard work is over, let’s be successful and make St. Louis even better.”
Edwards is among those hoping the East-West Gateway Council of Governments will approve $1.26 million in federal grant money to get the trolley back on track next year.
“This gives us an opportunity to have free service for one year and run for the next years as the sale tax revenue picks up. It’s so meaningful. Clean, electrical transit is meaningful for the working-class people, for tourists, and for everybody,” he said.
It now comes down to the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, made up of local mayors, county executives, and board chairmen in our area, to determine if the project receives any federal dollars.
A spokesperson for St. Louis County Executive Sam Page would not say how he’s voting, but issued the following statement:
Dr. Page supports a Loop Trolley that requires no more additional county funds, has new, effective leadership, and a clear plan to sustain service. He looks forward to hearing more about the grant proposal at the upcoming East-West Gateway meeting.