St. Charles trolley may make a comeback - KMOV.com

St. Charles trolley may make a comeback

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St. Charles city leaders are looking at potentially bringing back the trolley despite it once being deemed a waste of tax payer dollars (Credit: KMOV). St. Charles city leaders are looking at potentially bringing back the trolley despite it once being deemed a waste of tax payer dollars (Credit: KMOV).

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV.com) – St. Charles city leaders are looking at potentially bringing back the trolley despite it once being deemed a waste of taxpayer dollars.  

At Tuesday night’s city council work session, the council was presented with a plan to bring back the trolley. The mayor of the City of St. Charles, Sally Faith, says supports the plan.

“People who are staying in the hotels or here for the convention center, they need a way to get down to Main Street, come down have dinner,” said Faith.

The city got rid of the trolley in 2010 after they realized no one was riding it. It was costing taxpayers $141,000 a year and was only averaging 26 riders a day. Which meant the city was paying nearly $15 per rider.

As of 2016, Faith says the city is different. She says there is more tourism, more conventions and the trolley is a big part of continuing to make the city a tourism destination.

The funding for the trolley would come from the tourism budget. The city council was presented with two options.

The first option would be a city run operation, utilizing the original trolley it still has, plus buying a second one. The initial cost would be more expensive, costing $300,000 for the first year. The second option, the one preferred by the mayor and some council members, would use an outside contractor to operate the service.  

The contractor would provide the trolleys, costing between $175,000-200,000 a year.  

The trolley would be offered free of charge and run from March 15 – December 24, seven days a week.

“It’s going to be exciting for the city, it’s going to get people to see all St. Charles has to offer. The route will start at the Convention Center, it will go to the Ameristar, continue on north to the boat house, it will stop three times on Main Street, north to the Foundry, into Frenchtown, stopping at the Bass Pro shops,” said Faith.

Locals and visitors on Main Street were excited by the idea. The city admits they will need to get the word out to ensure a larger ridership than the previous time. The plan is for a two-year pilot program.

The proposal is still in the early stages. The city council will need to approve and vote on the trolley. If approved, Faith hopes the service could be up and running by the spring of 2017.  News 4 will continue to follow the progress. 

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