Keep up with essential planning news and commentary, delivered to your inbox every Monday and Thursday.
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.