Loop Trolley One Step Closer to Summer 2017 Opening

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A big test this weekend, and another stop on the way to full operation for the Loop Trolley in University City.

Trucks pulled and pushed the red-and-cream colored car around the 2.2 miles of newly laid tracks that will connect St. Louis city and county.

slp2017032601 Loop Trolley One Step Closer to Summer 2017 Opening

Workers take a break as they stop their initial testing of Trolley number 001 in front of their headquarters in St. Louis on March 26, 2017. The new Loop Trolley is being pulled by truck, while crews check the clearance of the vehicle with the platforms, curbs, corners and overhead wires. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

According to Loop developer Joe Edwards, they’ve already eliminated some early concerns that the fixed-route trolleys might scrape up against parked cars.

“There was only section of about 12 parking spaces where it was a little tight, and the curb was moved back about 18 inches, and now it’s just fine. It would have been fine probably the way it was, but just to be extra safe we’ve moved the curb back,” he says.

slp2017032602 Loop Trolley One Step Closer to Summer 2017 Opening

Workers walk ahead of Trolley number 001 as it is pulled across a intersection during initial testing in St. Louis on March 26, 2017. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Edwards says the next few months will be spent hiring and training trolley drivers. Those operators will have control over the traffic lights at certain intersections so that all directions come to a stop so the trolley can pass through quickly and safely.

He notes the first two trolley cars can hold 80 passengers apiece.

“The third car can hold up to 100 people, and that one’s coming from Seattle,” Edwards says.

How much will a ride on the trolley set you back?

“Riding the trolley would similar to Metrobus or Metrolink,” Edwards says. “The exact fair has not been determined yet, but most likely it will be similar to that as far as a two-hour pass, and we’ll hopefully have a four-hour pass.”

slp2017032605 Loop Trolley One Step Closer to Summer 2017 Opening

A truck pulls Trolley number 001 in the Delmar Loop during initial testing in St. Louis on March 26, 2017. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Edwards has always been gung-ho about the trolley, but didn’t realize what he was in for when he launched this effort way back in 1997.

“If I had known it would have taken 20 years and all the thousands of meetings, and hearings and talking to people about it, it’s hard to psych yourself up to keep going forward.”

Edwards says they’re still on track for a public opening some time this summer.

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