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Friday, March 20, 2020

We Were Wrong About the Loop Trolley

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2020 at 4:29 PM

click to enlarge Doesn't seem like such a bad idea now, after all. - DANNY WICENTOWSKI
  • DANNY WICENTOWSKI
  • Doesn't seem like such a bad idea now, after all.

Here at the RFT, we're big enough to admit when we are wrong.

We'll concede that we spent a lot of time and digital ink bashing on the Loop Trolley as we watched businesses across the Delmar Loop shutter throughout construction; as we watched local officials increasingly throw money into the bottomless pit that is its coffers; as we watched the thing roll by day after day with nary a passenger.



What fools we were.

In the age of coronavirus, everything apparently gets closed anyway. In the age of coronavirus, funds both public and private are decimated anyway. In the age of coronavirus, a trip in solitude in a completely empty trolley car sounds nice, and safe, and like a good way to get out of the house.

We may still get the chance. On March 11, just over a week but also several lifetimes ago, Hawaiian shirt aficionado and chief trolley booster Joe Edwards announced in an email to the board of the taxing district responsible for funding the trolley that it was set for an April comeback.

“A practical plan is being fine-tuned to ask the Loop Trolley Company to resume four-day operation this April,” Edwards wrote, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“The third trolley car should be tested and ready by then to enable predictable service for this valuable transit asset for the bi-state region," he continued. "By the way, car 003 is beautiful.”

That car arrived in January, and it does look nice. We could sit in there, one at a time, maybe two, a safe distance between us, slathered head to toe in hand sanitizer, and just stare vacantly into the distance at speeds approaching 21 miles per hour across some deserted streets. Sounds nice. Sounds quiet. Sounds peaceful.

I mean look at this beaut:


For a long time, the lack of a third trolley car was cited as the reason that there was not more regular service on the tracks. Now that that situation is all sorted out and things are coming back together so smoothly, perhaps all will indeed be well for the battered project come April. What could possibly go wrong now?

We at the RFT are looking forward to it, and we're sorry about all that naysaying. This is all gonna work out fine.

Daniel Hill was the RFT's music editor until he was laid off two days ago, and now he just refuses to leave. Follow him on Twitter at @rftmusic.
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