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St. Louis - June 2003
   

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St. Louis — Return of the Trolley

Rail Transit Online, June 2003

Local entrepreneur Joe Edwards is spearheading an effort to establish a heritage streetcar line that would link the Delmar Loop area with the Forest Park MetroLink light rail station, which is being expanded as part of the Cross County LRT project.  But this is no pie-in-the-sky effort: Edwards and others have formed the Loop Trolley Co., and the nonprofit organization has already been awarded a $500,000 grant in association with Citizens for Modern Transit to restore an old trolley car.  “There's just something nostalgic about it for a lot of people, and it's just something that would be fun to do in the area,” Edwards, who owns a restaurant and a theater, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  “I just believe it could have a wonderful stabilizing effect on this central corridor.”  The streetcar line would mimic the old Delmar Boulevard route, which was scrapped in 1964, and would serve the street’s many businesses and entertainment venues plus University City.  Loop Trolley Co. estimates the project would cost $32 million and is hoping to get about $26 million from Washington in the TEA-21 reauthorization bill.  Edwards would like to start construction in 2006, once the Cross County extension is completed and traffic, which is being diverted from Forest Parkway to Delmar, is back to normal.  Tom Shrout, director of Citizens for Modern Transit which has been instrumental in promoting MetroLink, is on the board of the trolley company and is a strong advocate of the scheme.  The Bi-State Development Agency, now Metro, carried out a feasibility study at the end of 2000 which estimated electric streetcars would have a price tag four times higher than trolley-replica buses but would carry 70 percent more riders and would cost about the same to operate (see RTOL, Oct. 2000)

 

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