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The end of the line? Delmar business owners watch what's next as Loop Trolley struggles for rider revenue

The trolley collected more than 1,422 fares in September and 1,481 in October, but November's numbers slip down to the 1,000-mark.

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — Take a look around Vintage Vinyl and you'll see owner Tom Ray has devoted his shop to celebrating the best of music history.

"We have a serious case of cultural amnesia in this city," Ray said.

A piece of history regularly rides the rails outside his front door: the Loop Trolley. 

Scaled back hours of operation and dwindling cash reserves have some wondering if it'll continue running in the new decade.

The trolley's tax district gave organizers a $90,000 loan to continue service through December.

RELATED: St. Louis County Council demands audit of how the Loop Trolley spent federal funding

"I think the trolley is a work in progress, and I think it would be incredibly shortsighted to choke it off at this point."

The trolley collected more than 1,422 fares in September and 1,481 in October, but November's numbers slip down to the 1,000-mark.

RELATED: Loop Trolley still hasn't seen a ridership bump despite national attention

Brittany Robbins, a spokesperson for the service, points out the trolley was idle on Thanksgiving, while it handed out an estimated 400 free rides to promote Small Business Saturday.

Some business owners told 5 On Your Side it's time to pull the breaks on the project. After months of construction, small collisions, and low ridership, they welcome the opportunity to reconvert trolley platforms into much-needed parking spaces.

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Others — like Ray — hope someone will find a way to give the project more time.

"I would like to see that rarest of things in Missouri politics: enlightenment," Ray said. "And I would like to see efforts made to have an ongoing funding program to keep this trolley running."

St. Louis Business-Journal reports Bi-State Development — the group behind Metro Transit — is considering a plan to take over the service.

RELATED: Loop Trolley gets loan to stay open through December, Bi-State looking into taking over trolley

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