• The Rep - A Dolls House

Loop Trolley On Track With $25 Million For Construction

September 12, 2012
Supporters of the Loop Trolley can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that $24.9 million in grant money promised from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is now in hand.

Through the Urban Circulator Program, the FTA invests in a limited number of projects, such as streetcars and trolley lines.

The grant was initially approved for the Loop Trolley in July 2010. However, only the funding for design work was released at that time.

This final release of monies gives the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District (TDD) access to the balance of funds to initiate construction.

"A fixed-track vintage trolley system built in a first-class manner can add to quality of life, increase tourism and spur economic development," said Joe Edwards, chairman of the TDD.

The Loop Trolley will be a 2.2-mile fixed track trolley line from the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park to the University City Library. Citizens for Modern Transit and Edwards formed the private, nonprofit Loop Trolley Co. in 2001 to raise funds for the project.

"The Loop Trolley project has been planned as a convenient means of local travel that is friendly to our community and its visitors and to the environment," said Robert Archibald, president of the Loop Trolley Co. "The trolley looks back at the ways our ancestors moved through the city and at the same time offers a vision of the potential of innovative public transportation."

Voters in University City and St. Louis approved the creation of a special sales tax (taxing district) in 2007 to fund the loop trolley system and set up operations. Businesses in a defined area along the route pay 1 percent sales tax to support the TDD.

Annual operating costs are estimated at about $1.3 million. The system will be supported with $600,000 from fares, $500,000 from the TDD and $200,000 from advertising and institutional subsidies.

The Loop Trolley is scheduled to open in mid-2014.

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