ST. LOUIS — St. Louis officials anticipate restarting operations of the Loop Trolley by June 21, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said in a letter scheduled to be sent Friday.
The communication, being sent to Federal Transit Administration official Mokhtee Ahmad and given to the Business Journal on Thursday, provides more clarity on a plan, endorsed earlier this month by Bi-State Development's board, for the transit agency to contract with the taxing district that built the trolley to run the 2.2-mile streetcar system. That would put an end to a nonprofit, the Loop Trolley Co., running the trolley, which shut down in 2019 amid low ridership.
Jones reiterated that the trolley, utilizing at least two vehicles, would operate four days a week, Thursday through Sunday, for eight hours each day. Officials have said previously it would provide free rides.
Jones' letter to Ahmad was necessary after the FTA in December threatened to force St. Louis to repay federal grants used to construct the $52 million trolley if it was not running by June. Jones has said that could cost $22 million. St. Louis had been given until Feb. 1 to submit a plan to restart operations, but got an extension to March 1.
While Bi-State would take over operations, the taxing district still hopes to secure $1.26 million in federal highway funds to aid operations long term. East-West Gateway Council of Governments, the region's planning organization, previously rejected awarding those funds to the trolley's taxing district, but is being asked to reconsider with a vote scheduled for August.
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