Bi-State Commissioners to decide whether to bailout troubled Delmar Loop Trolley

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ST. LOUIS – The You Paid For It team learns some of the details of a proposed bailout by Bi-State of the Loop Trolley.

Bi-State Commissioners are having a special meeting on Tuesday at noon to decide whether to go along with a bailout of the troubled trolley.

The trolley that costs taxpayers $51 million dollars is shutting down within weeks because of financial woes.

Leaders including Mayor Lyda Krewson have asked Bi-State to step in and take over.

Among other things, You Paid For It learned about the new proposal is that running the Loop Trolley will cost taxpayers about a million dollars a year.

But you’d lose money on the deal. Losses the first year are put at $248,000.

In addition, Bi-State would have to shell out another $800,000 for repairs and the like.

Investigator Elliott Davis talked with one of the Bi-State Commissioners from Madison County who says a bailout would be bad for taxpayers.

Commissioner Derrick Keith Cox says Bi-State should focus its money and its energies on fixing problems like security on MetroLink. He believes taxpayers are dead set against more money for the Loop Trolley.

But in a statement, Bi-State President and CEO Taulby Roach:

“The region has turned to Bi-State Development at key times over the last 70 years to provide viable solutions to regional challenges and that is what is happening now. We are evaluating viable operating options aimed at avoiding default on the federal grant money awarded to the Loop Trolley project. A federal grant default could have a negative impact not only for Bi-State Development but the entire region. In fact, a default could hinder efforts to successfully compete for future federal funding for all kinds of transportation projects.

Our Board of Commissioners must give its approval to take on a new project of this magnitude. At this time, I am asking the Board to give me the authority to officially consider possible operating options with the Loop TDD and the Federal Transit Administration. The objective would be to incorporate the Loop Trolley into our system in order to stabilize operations and maximize this asset for the community. However, that policy decision is for the Bi-State Development Board of Commissioners to decide.”

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