ST. LOUIS – The Delmar Loop Trolley continued testing its trolleys on Wednesday, testing brakes and other systems to make sure everything was up to par.
“We’re doing on-the-street testing yesterday, and today, so no customers are involved,” said Taulby Roach, CEO of Bi-State Development. “It’s just safety testing and being sure the equipment runs reliably, and the public can have an expectation that it will run the way it should.”
Bi-State took control of the Loop Trolley at the urging of St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones. She feared losing federal dollars for future projects if the area let the trolley fail. The system will resume in the spring and run through October.
Taxpayers paid around $50 million to build the Loop Trolley, with its 2.2 miles of track, through the University City Loop and onto the City of St. Louis to the History Museum.
In its first year, it cost about $2.5 million to run the trolley. $800,000 came from a special Loop Trolley taxing district, and $1.2 million came from a federal grant.
“So our job at Bi-State Development was to look at this asset and try to do the best we could with it. I understand it’s a tough project, it’s no question about that. What we’re doing, we’re in the midst of a two-part plan aimed at making it operate on time and safely,” Roach said.
“We’ve had some early success, as a matter of fact, the first three months, we were pleased to know that we had over 8,000 people on the asset, good news. Not saying it’s not still difficult, it is. But we’re going to run it as best we can.”
Roach said he’s hopeful.