ST. LOUIS -- The Loop Trolley Company on Wednesday announced that its fare structure, pricing and method of purchase/validation for trolley passengers has been finalized.
The initial fare structure will consist of two fare types – $2 for a two-hour fare and $5 for an all-day pass, with reduced fare ticket prices of $1 and $2.50, respectively, for disabled passengers and senior passengers age 65 or older with valid identification or documentation. Children age five and under may ride free with adult supervision.
The opening date depends on completion of system testing, which still must be authorized by federal and state authorities. At that time, an expected passenger service start date can be formalized, a spokesman said.
Tickets can be purchased by two methods: physical tickets with cash or card at any of the 13 ticket vending machines, which will be located on or near the trolley platforms, or mobile tickets via an account-based application available through iOS and Android app stores.
For vending purchases, the clock will start on two-hour fares beginning at the time of purchase, with all-day passes only valid for the day on which they are purchased. On the mobile application, passengers can purchase their tickets any time in advance and activate on their smartphone prior to boarding.
“After looking at other American transit fare systems, we settled on a simpler structure with fewer fare options,” said Kevin Barbeau, Loop Trolley Company’s executive director. “In this way, we can assure our passengers are not overwhelmed when making their purchases at physical ticket vending machines or through the mobile application.”
For both physical and mobile tickets, passengers will scan their ticket(s) via an on-board validator located at each entrance to the trolley vehicles. The Loop Trolley will not accept cash-based fares on-board; hence, any passenger without valid fare or with an expired fare must de-board and purchase a valid ticket.
The Loop Trolley is a 2.2-mile, fixed-route, electrically powered, heritage trolley connecting University City, Mo. and the Delmar Loop to Forest Park in St. Louis in an exciting new way. The western terminus is at University Library, moving east to DeBaliviere, then south to the Missouri History Museum.
Here are answers to many questions on the project:
1. Where will the trolleys operate?
In the Delmar Loop, the trolley will operate in active vehicle lanes, similar to a bus. On Delmar, east of the Des Peres bridge, the trolley will run on a single track in the center median. At DeBaliviere, the trolley will run on a single track on the east side of DeBaliviere, alongside an extension of the St. Vincent Greenway that connects Ruth Porter Park with Forest Park.
2. Where will the trolleys stop?
On Delmar: University City Library, Leland Avenue, City Limit, The Pageant, Delmar Loop Metrolink, Hamilton Avenue
On DeBaliviere: Delmar and DeBaliviere, Crossroads School, Forest Park/DeBaliviere Metrolink, Missouri History Museum/Forest Park
3. What kind of trolleys will be used?
At opening, the fleet will consist of three vehicles. Cars 001 and 002, built in 1993 to replicate 1903-style trolley vehicles, were most recently in service in Portland, Oregon. The third – a W-class vehicle built in Melbourne, Australia in the 1920s – was most recently in service in Seattle, Washington.
4. Will the trolleys be accessible to those with wheelchairs and other disabilities?
Each trolley has been updated to meet current accessibility standards, including ADA lifts and seating considerations for those with wheelchairs. Likewise, the station platforms each include accessible ramps.
5. How much will it cost to ride the trolleys?
As a service to its passengers, the Loop Trolley system has a simple fare structure -- $2 for a Two-Hour Fare, and $5 for an All-Day Fare. A 50 percent reduced fare is available to passengers age 65 or older, as well as disabled passengers. Reduced fare passengers may be asked to show valid identification. Existing examples include state-issued license/ID, a Metro ADA Paratransit Permit, or a valid reduced fare pass from Metro, Saint Clair County Transit District, or Madison County Transit.
Two-Hour Fare – valid beginning at the time of purchase All-Day Fare – valid on the day of purchase Tickets can be purchased at machines located on each station platform, using cash or card or via a mobile application (in development). At present, there is no interoperability with Metro’s train/bus fare system.
6. When will passenger service start?
Acceptance testing on the various trolley system elements – including the two replica Council Crest vehicles previously in service in Oregon – has concluded, with full System Integrated Testing the next major step in the project timeline. Following completion of SIT, the system must request and receive approval from federal and state transportation oversight groups to proceed with passenger service. A passenger service start date will be announced shortly, as the schedule of remaining testing activities is finalized.
7. Who owns and operates the trolleys?
The Loop Trolley system is owned by the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District. The Loop Trolley Company, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, will operate the system.
8. Where can I park along the trolley system?
Multiple public parking lots exist within walking distance of the trolley platforms, as well as on-street parking. As fixed-rail vehicles, trolleys cannot swerve or shift lanes, so when parking on the street, it is important that your vehicle be positioned close to the curb and inside the white parking lines, as any vehicle obstructing the trolleys’ path will be towed.
9. What are the rules/codes of conduct for the trolleys?
No obscene language, gambling, alcohol, drugs, weapons, or loud music will be allowed on the trolleys. Eating is prohibited, and any water/soda bottle should be securely closed during movement. Small pets may be allowed in hand-held carrying cases which can be lapped or stowed under a seat. Strollers, personal carts, and bicycles will be allowed at the operator’s discretion, depending on available seating.
10. What is the boarding/exiting procedure for passengers?
Passengers should wait behind the tactile strip at the edge of the platform until the operator brings the trolley to a complete stop, opens the doors and acknowledges boarding can occur. Passengers should board at the forward door, present their valid tickets at an electronic validator located just within the doors, and immediately find a seat or handhold. Upon exiting, passengers will wait until the trolley has come to a complete stop, the doors have been opened and acknowledgement from the operator occurs, and exit at the rear door. The estimated boarding/exiting time, or “dwell” time, is 15 seconds.
11. How many passengers do the trolleys hold?
Cars 001 and 002 can accommodate up to 82 passengers (seated and standing), while Car 003 will accommodate up to 95 passengers (seated and standing).
12. How will the trolleys operate in inclement conditions?
The trolleys can operate under light-to-medium snow conditions, but service may be impacted by heavy snowfall or freezing events. The Loop Trolley Company will assess weather conditions at all times during service and provide timely updates, when possible, on weather-related service disruptions.
13. Can businesses advertise on the trolleys?
Advertising opportunities are available to businesses, including exterior and interior signs, printed materials, platform signs, giveaway items, back of ticket promotions, and more. Additional advertising opportunities include naming rights for platforms and the trolleys/system itself.
14. Can the trolley be rented out for private events?
No. The trolley must be accessible to the public, with valid fare, during its operation.
15. Who should I contact to report lost personal belongings or for additional information?