A Day Late and $90,000 Short
Despite dire financial trouble and warnings that it may be forced to cease operations this month, it now appears that the St. Louis Loop Trolley will stay open through the end of 2019.
Several weeks ago, Loop Trolley officials asked for $200,000 from St. Louis County to stay open for the rest of the year and another $500,000 to operate for next year. St. Louis County Council members did not oblige the request. Now, the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District (LTTDD)—the entity that owns the trolley—has announced that it will provide $90,000 for the trolley to finish out the year.
This announcement raises so many basic questions that deserve answers, such as:
- Why did the Loop Trolley ask for $200,000 if $90,000 was enough?
- Why did the LTTDD just now realize that it did not need to ask someone else for money it could provide on its own?
- Why do taxpayers in the trolley district have to keep paying for a project that cannot sustain itself?
It has been nearly one year since the trolley began operating. Ridership has been dismal; trolley officials predicted 400,000 riders for the first year of operation, but instead the total barely clears 15,000.
Isn’t it time taxpayers stop rewarding poor behavior and let the trolley stand or fall on its own merit?