ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis' planning organization on Wednesday approved $1.8 million over two years for the Delmar Loop Trolley, aimed at shoring up operations for the recently restarted streetcar line.
East-West Gateway Council of Governments OK'd utilizing $1.26 million in federal funding from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, said Jim Wild, executive director of East-West Gateway. The taxing district that built the trolley put up $540,000 in matching funds, Wild said.
The 19 local projects that put in for CMAQ funding, which is to help local governments meet requirements of the U.S. Clean Air Act, were approved.
Wild said two projects — dual turn lanes in O'Fallon, Missouri, and replacing a signal and fiber optics in St. Peters — scored lower than the Loop Trolley for meeting the purpose.
During the meeting, Kurt Prenzler, Madison County chairman and an East-West Gateway board member, suggested separating the trolley from other CMAQ applicants. That failed by a vote of 15-5. Voting with Prenzler were David Schwind of Madison County; Ron Williams of Madison County; St. Louis County Council Chairwoman Rita Days; and St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann.
The Loop Trolley this summer restarted operations with free rides, operating Thursday through Sunday.
The trolley, which opened in November of 2018 after years of delays, ended operations Dec. 29, 2019, after low ridership. The Loop Trolley at the time had sold about 17,000 fares since it launched, according to numbers compiled by the St. Louis Business Journal and KSDK. Regional officials initially had thought the trolley could see 400,000 riders in its first year.
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