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Bi-State again being asked to run Loop Trolley

Public documents show that Bi-State's board on Friday is set to discuss eventually entering an operating agreement with the taxing district that built the trolley.
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis leaders are again pursuing a plan for Bi-State Development to operate the troubled and shuttered Delmar Loop Trolley streetcar line, which is the subject of threats from the federal government.

Public documents show that Bi-State's board on Friday is set to discuss eventually entering an operating agreement with the taxing district that built the trolley. And that district, called the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District, has asked the region's planning organization, East-West Gateway Council of Governments, to reconsider awarding it $1.26 million in federal highway funds to help cover the costs of operating the trolley for two years.

Bi-State CEO Taulby Roach said in a statement that St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones "has stepped forward as the chair of the TDD, and is trying to lead a difficult project through some possible solutions that would avoid defaulting on the federal funding for the Loop Trolley."

"Mayor Jones has asked for our help and our expertise in figuring out a solution to the problem and we are trying to respond accordingly," Roach continued. "The plan involves TDD contracts with Bi-State Development strictly for managerial and logistical support. It involves no transfer of assets or liability and allows Bi-State Development to financially isolate this project."

Jones' office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the grant request to East-West Gateway calls for the money to be used for two years beginning next January, with free service from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. But a spokesperson for Jones told the Post-Dispatch leaders anticipated restarting the trolley in June, presumably with the TDD's sales tax funds.

Click here for the full story from the St. Louis Business Journal.

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