Loop Trolley Dedicated; Still Hasn't Made 1st Public Run

Mid-autumn snowstorm prevented start of operations.

Brett Blume
November 15, 2018 - 12:30 pm
Workers check the wheels of the Loop Trolley number 001 during initial testing in St. Louis on March 26, 2017

Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Categories: 

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOX) - They gathered Thursday morning to celebrate the long-awaited start of service for the Loop Trolley in University City.

But bad weather prevented trolley backers from driving a ceremonial "Golden Spike" into the ground to mark the occasion, and a previously planned dedication ceremony had to be moved indoors after a mid-November storm dumped several inches of snow on the region and buried the trolley tracks.

Operators indicated it was "safety first" when it comes to operation of the trolley.

Once service does begin, Loop developer Joe Edwards says the three-year wait to get things up and running -- and the two-decade-long planning process that preceeded it -- will have been well worth it.

"Trolley lines attract tourists and residents who support economic development and arts and cultural institutions," he said. "Visitors reach their destinations more easily by simply hopping on a trolley.

So when will the trolley make its first official run?

Loop Trolley Executive Director Kevin Barbeau said they will take a wait-and-see attitude, and determine whether operations can begin Friday.

Typical hours of operations will be Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from noon until 11 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. Plans calls for the trolley to eventually run seven days a week.

The $51 million project was three years in the making, and endured numerous delays and missed deadlines. Now, the 2.2-mile line will connect the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park to the western end of the Delmar Loop.

That's much to the delight of Ley Woods, owner-operator of Cocktailz: A Beauty Bar, who admitted that she had to be won over to the trolley project when she first opened her business five years ago. She urged those in attendance to take a selfie and post it with #WeLoveTheTrolley and #ShopTheDelmarLoop.

"Do it for those of us who endured this process and made it to this day," Woods said. "Hang in there, because I sure have -- in rain, sleet or snow, the Trolley will roll."

Learn more about the Loop Trolley at looptrolley.com.