Loop Trolley on the Ropes in St. Louis
"The agency behind the circuitous street car has told St. Louis County it needs $200,000 to stay solvent through November, followed by another $500,000 shortly after to keep operating into 2020," reports Doyle Murphy.
"The trolley has struggled from the start of the $52 million project, opening years behind schedule. It then bumbled through permitting issues that briefly sidelined it, the occasional collision and a variety of other miscues," according to Murphy.
The fundamental problem facing the Loop Trolley, however, is a lack of ridership. An earlier article by Brittany Robbins reports that in its first 11 months of service, the streetcar has sold only $32,456 in tickets. "Officials previously estimated ticket sales would reach $428,672 this year," according to Robbins.
The federal government contributed $33.9 million to the project, and local officials are concerned that letting such a project fail so early in its existence would set a terrible precedent for the city of St. Louis' future federal funding prospects.