How does the trolley fit within our regional transportation
The trolley will play an important part in the region's public transportation infrastructure and economic growth. The first phase, proposed to operate on Delmar and DeBaliviere, will serve two MetroLink stations, making it easy for passengers to access destinations throughout the region without using a car. This will ease traffic congestion and reduce pain at the gas pump!
Where will the trolley operate?
The trolley will circle the Missouri History Museum in Forest and head north up DeBaliviere. On DeBaliviere it will run in both directions in a single lane designated to trolleys only. Vehicular traffic will operate west of the trolley lane and a greenway to be constructed by Great Rivers Greenway is proposed on the east. At Delmar the trolley will turn west and continue to operate in its own single designated lane, but now it will move to the center of the street, operating in the median, until it reaches MetroLink's Delmar Station. Just before the Delmar bridge over the MetroLink the tracks fork and the trolley will enter vehicular traffic and operate similar to a bus in two lanes through The Loop. This design could be slightly modified during final engineering after the final operation plan is selected. At the western terminus on Delmar, a roundabout will be incorporated in the design allowing the trolley to turnaround with minimal impact on parking and traffic.
Where will the trolley stop?
The Board approved nine station stops that will directly serve key attractions or be within reasonable walking distance to destinations. Locations include: The Missouri History Museum, Forest Park Metro, Crossroads College Preparatory School, Laurel and Delmar, Delmar MetroLink Station, the Pageant, the Tivoli, the Market and Trinity or Kingsland.
What kind of trolley?
The Loop Trolley Company will operate six historic-looking "replica" vehicles using hybrid battery/overhead electric technology. The consultant team recommended using this approach instead of the Peter Witt heritage vehicles for several reasons. Unlike the older vehicles, the newer replica vehicles are accessible by people with disabilities - which is required by law. They provide greater flexibility in locating stations because there are doors on both sides of the cars. The combination of electric and battery power provides the vehicles enough power to operate cleanly and efficiently, but minimizes the use of overhead electric wires in visually sensitive areas like Forest Park.
What will it cost to build and operate? When will it operate?
It will cost up to $44 million to build the system and $2.2 million per year to operate, depending on the number of hours of operation. The hours of trolley operation, fares and other operational issues have not yet been finalized.
How many will ride?
Ridership will depend on the number of hours of operation and funding for the operations of the system. Assuming operations of 17 hours a day, up to a million rides could be given in the course of a year.
Who will own and operate the trolley?
The Loop Trolley will be owned by the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District. The district is expected to seek proposals from other entities to manage the construction and operation of the Trolley.
When will the trolley in revenue service?
If planners meet an aggressive schedule, and construction does not run into problems, the trolley will be running in early 2013. Who supports the effort to restore trolley service? In addition to The Loop Trolley Company, East-West Gateway Council of Governments and Citizens for Modern Transit, this effort has received support from our congressional delegation, University City, the City of St. Louis, the Missouri Historical Society, along with The Loop Business District and numerous neighborhood groups.
Why a trolley and why now?
There would be many advantages to operating a trolley in The Loop for both the area directly served and the region as a whole.
Connectivity: The Loop Trolley will link two existing MetroLink Stations to cultural institutions like the Missouri History Museum, the University City City Hall, and all the attractions in The Loop like theaters, restaurants, offices and shopping opportunities with vibrant mixed-use and residential neighborhoods.
Economic Development: Trolleys have proven to be a catalyst for residential, commercial and recreational development in cities like Memphis, Little Rock, Tampa and Portland. This is key for the east section of the alignment.
Pedestrian-Friendly Neighborhoods: Trolleys make it easy for people to get around and stop at several locations without the problem of finding parking. This will only enhance The Loop and all that it has to offer as one of the Ten Great Streets in America as designated by the American Planning Association in 2007. It will also provide access into Forest Park, one of the city's highlights.
Environmentally-Friendly: Trolleys are a great way for St. Louis to go green. Because they are powered by electricity, trolleys are much quieter and cleaner than gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. They also enable individuals to reduce their carbon footprint, so everyone can do their part to go green!
Tourist Attraction: Trolleys can also enhance the unique and special sense of place that is The Loop and the St. Louis region. St. Louis is famous for its historic streetcars. This brings history alive for residents and tourists alike.