ST. LOUIS — St. Louis' planning organization on Wednesday rejected allocating money to restart operations of the Loop Trolley, putting the streetcar line's future in serious doubt and raising questions about whether St. Louis will be able to obtain future federal transportation funding.
The East-West Gateway Council of Governments, by a voice vote, rejected approval of $1.26 million in federal highway funds to help cover the costs of operating the trolley for two years, with cars giving free rides four days a week.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page had advocated Tuesday for approval of the money, which comes from the Federal Highway Administration's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ). They conditioned that support on Bi-State Development, the region's transit agency, taking over trolley operations and the shutdown of the nonprofit that runs the trolley, which has been closed since 2019.
Trolley advocates fear that the Federal Transit Administration could force St. Louis to pay back a grant that enabled the trolley's construction.
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