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Loop Trolley could ‘maybe’ launch next month

ST. LOUIS – The oft-delayed Loop Trolley could finally start operating in August.

It seems like the start date just kept getting pushed back: last fall, last winter, this spring, and now—maybe—next month.

The two finished trolley cars remain in the station on Delmar in north St. Louis. A third car is still being renovated in Iowa.

Ticket kiosks are installed waiting to go online. Still, every bit of signage, every safety reflector, and every section of track along the 2.2-mile fixed-route electric trolley system from University City to Forest Park has to get approval from both the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA).

Doing so has taken longer than the trolley’s developers ever anticipated, even with construction on the $51-million project essentially completed more than a year and a half ago.

MoDOT and Federal Transit Administration released the following joint statement about the trolley:

“Prior to a major project starting revenue service and carrying passengers, certain safety and security milestones must be achieved. The (Loop Trolley), FTA, and MoDOT are all working collaboratively to ensure the safety of the system..."

The statement did not mention any specific safety concerns or an expected date for approval.

The system was expected to begin operation on a Thursday morning in August or September, a Loop Trolley official said.