Loop Trolley Submits CMAQ Application for 2022-2023 Operational Support
The Loop Trolley Transportation Development District has submitted an application to East-West Gateway through the federal Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality (CMAQ) program for federal FY 2022. If awarded, this grant would allow the Loop Trolley system to provide FREE transit service for a period of two years as post-pandemic economic recovery continues in the trolley district and across the region -- resulting in renewed public interest, increased ridership and improved consistency and quality of service for the Loop Trolley system.
Under the MAP-21 Act (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century), the Federal Highway Administration has allocated approximately $20M to the St. Louis region for this CMAQ project period. A few examples of eligible funding requests include traffic flow improvements, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and -- in the case of the Loop Trolley CMAQ project -- operating assistance for new transit projects.
Entering 2020, Loop Trolley District sales taxes were expected to approach $1M, based on previous year increases, which would have largely covered operating costs for the system going forward. Due to the pandemic, 2020 Sales Taxes dropped significantly and the difficult decision was made to table 2020 operating plans until such time as Sales Taxes recovered or alternative funding sources were secured.
The CMAQ application submitted by the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District requests $1.26M (breakdown: 8/10ths of 1¢ per US taxpayer), representing 70% of the Loop Trolley system's two-year estimated operating budget. The remaining 30% is supported by Sales Taxes within the development district itself. If awarded, the Loop Trolley would be positioned to immediately resume its passenger operations for FREE to the public. In advance of service resumption, the third trolley -- a 1920s Melbourne W2 model -- will have been added to the Trolley fleet, providing sufficient fleet capacity to avoid service disruptions or reductions.
East West Gateway is currently accepting public comments on this and other projects at their Public Comments page. Public comments are accepted through Tuesday, March 24th, 2021.
Posted: March 10, 2021 by Loop Trolley Co.