St. Louis — Will Streetcar Extend Development?
The Post-Dispatch reports that critics of the Loop Trolley's potential to spur development along the route are leading supporters to take additional steps to make sure development occurs. Those questioning the project cite the $20 million per mile cost as being much higher than a bus would cost along the same route.
But project supporters led by Joe Edwards maintain that the primary benefit of the line is signalling to potential developers that the city is channeling significant capital into the area. Increased transit ridership is not the primary goals. To bolster this effect, supporters of the trolley project are encouraging construction of apartment buildings, establishment of bike paths, and high speed internet service along the corridor.
East of the Metrolink tracks the neigborhood to be served by the trolley has many empty store fronts, vacant lots, and small scale office buildings. This area would benefit from the expansion of the active East Loop area along the line.