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Plans to revive Loop Trolley derailed by East-West Gateway Council

"We all know that the Trolley is one of those projects that should've never been built,” said St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones.

ST. LOUIS — An attempt to revive the Loop Trolley has been derailed after the East-West Gateway Council voted against providing more than a million dollars in federal funding.

"We all know that the Trolley is one of those projects that should've never been built,” said St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones.  “It's one of those stains on our region that we have to fix."

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones doesn't mince her words when discussing the Loop Trolley.

"This fell in my lap,” said Jones. “I feel like as mayor I have to take steps to fix it."

That job became a lot harder after the East-West Gateway Council voted against accepting $1.26-million in federal funding that would've gotten the trolley back on track.

"We have to look at the future,” said Jones. “We have to make sure that the Trolley succeeds because if it doesn't it impacts our ability to receive future federal dollars for other transportation projects."

"It's amazing to not pass something where no local funds were required, and those funds just disappear,” said Joe Edwards.

Joe Edwards, who is the head of the tax development district to fund the trolley, said he's been warning local leaders about this possibility for months.

"We're all so stunned that it didn't pass that from here we're going to have to get together and figure out how to move forward in the future,” said Edwards.

Edwards still believes the Trolley could one day ride again with local support.

"St. Louis I think needs to correct things, improve things, and not just give up on things,” Edwards said.

However, Mayor Jones says she's against providing any more public funding to the project in a city with more pressing needs.

"I'm going to be requesting documents of how much the TDD has been collecting,”  said Jones.  “We want to see where every dollar is going."

Mayor Jones believes the only way the Loop Trolley project succeeds is if the organization that runs the Metro Link steps in and takes over for the current non-profit.

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