U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced more than $290M in “New Transit Solutions and Economic Development” grants today. The competitive grant process received 65 applications totaling $1B. The $25M award earned by the St. Louis Loop Trolley Project was the largest award possible.
The trolley was described this way by the Federal Transit Administration:
The City of St. Louis will build a two-mile, nine-stop urban streetcar route. This catalyst project would connect a neighborhood in need of revitalization with a thriving college village and a major regional destination. The circulator route would connect University City, Forest Park and the City of St. Louis together and tie into an existing light rail line. A mix of public and private investment is envisioned.
While I have noted several times in the past that I believe there are better locations for a trolley line in St. Louis, the $25M award is wonderful news for the future of streetcars in St. Louis. The Delmar Loop, possibly our region’s most vibrant commercial strip may be the best starting point for the emergence of a larger trolley network.
Having recently spent a few days in New Orleans, the idea of a trolley system as part of our transit network is really very exciting. We’re all invested in seeing the Delmar Trolley be successful. The project has always been dependent on funding. The most recent cost estimates are near $50M, meaning that fully half of anticipated funding has not been secured. This puts the Loop Trolley effort on firm ground as they seek additional funding sources.
For more about the Loop Trolley, visit the project website and read the previous urbanSTL story about alignment and design options.
A complete list of projects receiving funding can be found at by clicking here.