Following the release of the draft environmental assessment for the Loop Trolley project back in May, did you submit a question or comment at the open house or during the comment period? If you did, the draft EA has been updated showing everybody’s comments and responses for each and every one. Awesome! You can download the EA from the link above.

One of my major concerns was that the project’s over dependence on single tracking might forever doom the Loop Trolley to headways in excess of 12 minutes, that headways of 10 minutes or less would never be attainable and thus severely limiting the trolley’s expansion potential. It turns out I was right. From the EA (emphasis added):

The analysis in Draft EA Appendix 4.3 was to identify opening year operating scenarios. From this analysis, the 20 minute headway was determined as appropriate for the opening year of service. Table 3.1-2 on page 3-4 of the Draft EA shows a potential future ridership scenario if 10 minute headways were used. This would require additional track to be placed beyond what would be constructed for opening year operations. The actual future operation scenario will be demand driven. See Draft EA Section 4.2 for the Operations and Maintenance Plan.
The Loop Trolley alignment near the Delmar Loop MetroLink station. // Loop Trolley EA.

At the very least, a drawing included in the updated EA seems to indicate that the double track section has been extended to just east of the trolley’s MetroLink station stop. This should help eliminate any possibility of eastbound trolleys blocking Delmar while waiting for westbound trolleys to clear the MetroLink station stop.

My other other major concern was that the Loop Trolley was being developed as a form of public transit independent of the existing Metro system and that the two systems should be in some way integrated for the benefit of all transit users. Alas, according to officials with the Loop Trolley, “integrating fares/providing transfers with Metro would make the Trolley project financially infeasible.”

Posted by Herbie Markwort

I like to write about transportation.


  1. Why – on your otherwise rational and interesting blog – you treat the Loop Trolley as if it's a serious piece of public engineering, worthy of engaged and critical reflection, is beyond me. The trolley is a horrific scam, serving only the interests of one giant land and business owner. In any other city, we'd be laughing it off the public agenda. Alas, this is St. Louis, where we greet ANY urban activity as if it were God returning to finish the act of creation. WHO is going to take this trolley? Who? "Tourists?" The pathetically modest number of people who visit the MO History Museum each year? Answer: No. Since any business activity on Debaliviere remains purely hypothetical and since there is no tie-in for Metro-riders, that leaves only concert-goers to the Pageant and guests at the Moonrise who have been told that Blueberry Hill is their best choice for dinner. That's it. All this money, all this disruption for a private transportation service for one business owner.

  2. I hope that you keep an open mind and re-examine your critique in 10 years. You could be right, but there's no way to know this now.

  3. stupid trolley…run it down delmar to the CWE….then it might serve some real purpose

  4. I think this individual is wrong, but I see his or her point. However, I think the recently announced $80-million project proposed by WUSTL will definitely help this trolley and will be full of students, tourists and visitors. My only problem with the trolley is that it is not a modern trolley. I understand the whole “St. Louis Car Company” nostalgia, but St. Louis needs to step up and modernize when possible.

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