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Loop Trolley plots a 2022 return, but little has been decided

The streetcar line has been closed since 2019. In October, it was turned down for $1.26 million in federal highway funds to run the trolley for two years.

ST. LOUIS — The Loop Trolley plans a return to service for 2022, but few details have been decided.

Note: The video above is from Oct. 27, 2021.

The Delmar Loop streetcar line, closed since 2019, in October was turned down by the region's planning organization for $1.26 million in federal highway funds to help cover the costs of operating the trolley for two years.

But Craig Heller, who leads the taxing district that built the line and collects a 1% sales tax in the Loop, on Thursday sought to get a district budget approved for next year. That plan would see a "good amount of dollars" to operate the system, with "limited passenger service," through the nonprofit Loop Trolley Co., Heller said. While the size of the budget request is unclear, Heller said the district expects to take in more than $780,000 in sales taxes next year. Officials have said it can cost about $1.1 million to operate the trolley each year.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, who sits on the district's board, successfully pushed to hold off on approving the budget until later this month, while she probes the Loop Trolley Co.'s finances.

Jones indicated she wants to see the trolley restart operations, in a bid to avoid having the Federal Transit Administration force St. Louis to pay back a grant that enabled the trolley's construction. Jones said that amount could be $27 million, with payback required by the city, St. Louis County and Bi-State Development. The project cost $52 million to develop, with $34 million coming from the federal government. 

Read the full story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.