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Loop Trolley on the Ropes in St. Louis

Extremely poor ridership might be dooming the St. Louis Loop Trolley less than a year after it opened to the public.
October 14, 2019, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Delmar Loop
Paul Sableman

"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.

Full Story:
Published on Saturday, October 12, 2019 in St. Louis Riverfront Times
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