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St. Louis - August 2008

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St. Louis — Sales Tax Funds Delmar Streetcar

Rail Transit Online, August 2008

Businesses along the proposed Delmar Boulevard streetcar route will begin collecting an additional one-percent sales tax this fall to help finance the 2.2-mi. (3.54 km) project. About a decade ago, local entrepreneur Joe Edwards came up with the idea to operate vintage trolleys along Delmar from about Kingsland Avenue to DeBaliviere Avenue, then south to the Missouri History Museum. There would be a connection with the light rail system at the Delmar MetroLink station.

"It'll ease traffic congestion," Edwards told the
Riverfront Times. "Not only is it a great economic development stimulator—since it's a stable, predictable track, people really invest around it — it's fun. Tourists love it. They can kind of daydream as they look at the shops and think about where to get off."

The tax, and creation of the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District, was approved last May by property owners and residents along the Delmar corridor. A new cost estimate for the trolley should be ready by the end of next year, said Edwards, as part of a design study being financed by $1.5 million in federal funds.

Edwards hopes the sales tax revenue will be enough to convince the FTA to award the streetcar a capital grant. "Maybe I'm just dreaming, but I'm hoping in two and a half, three years, it'll be up and running," he told the Riverfront Times.


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