Packed House Turns Out for Loop Trolley Information
University City residents turned out to question the plan for the trolley to run from near University City City Hall to the Missouri History Museum.
Construction on the Loop Trolley system is slated to begin in late fall or early 2013, with a 2014 completion date.
Since a March meeting on the trolley at the Regional Arts Commission, there have been several developments in the project. St. Louis County is transferring control of Delmar Blvd to University City, Mayor Shelley Welsch announced April 25.
The Loop Trolley route is a 2.2 mile fixed-rail trolley line along Delmar Blvd and DeBaliviere Avenue, extending from the Delmar/Trinity Ave. intersection to the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park.
The trolley itself will be a a restored trolley or replica heritage trolley that will operat on an Overhead Contact System (OCS). The OCS will use a single wire connected to light poles to run the trolley at speeds between 15-25 miles per hour.
Direct Suspension Overhead Contact System is different from metrollin catenary system used for systems like Metrolink.
The trolley wires will be on light poles and will be unobtrusive, according to Edwards. There will be no additional light poles on Delmar in University City; the current light poles will be replaced with poles that can carry the weight of the wires.
Once operational, the trolley will run year round, seven days a week. Currently plans are to run the trolley from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday with extended hours until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays.
The trolley will move at 20 minute headways and each car can carry around 100 people. The 'crush load' of the trolley during peak hours is 145. With full cars running three times an hour, 600-700 people could be moved up and down the line.
A driver will be on board each trolley.
"This will be safe and supervised," Edwards said.
Residents from University City and the City of St. Louis questioned the environmental impact study and whether all neighbors were properly notified. A Lindell resident told the crowd he felt the project was "steamrolling its way through and residents were being completely left out of the process."
Planners anticipate construction costs to build the system to reach $43 million. They anticipate a yearly operating and maintenance costs of $1.3 million once the system is up.
Construction funding is coming from the following sources:
- $25 million from a Federal Urban Circulator Grant
- $6 million from other federal funding.
- $3.5 million from Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Monetization
- $3.5 million from New Markets Tax Credits
- $2-5 million in private donations.
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