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CRA looks to overcome trolley delay

By Staff | Mar 14, 2009

More than a month after a proposal to bring a trolley system to Cape Coral was delayed, the Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency is looking to get the project back on track.
CRA board members will vote Tuesday on whether to lease two trolleys from South Florida Trolleys under a three month trial period.
CRA executive director John Jacobsen said he expects a “yes” vote on the project and hopes to have the trolley up and running in the next few weeks.
“We’ll implement it as quickly as possible,” Jacobsen said.
A similar proposal to lease trolleys from the Naples Trolley System broke down last month, mainly over concerns the trolleys were not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Under the earlier proposal, the CRA was to partner with LeeTran to lease the trolleys for $149,000 per car for one year. Jacobsen said the new proposal is similar in cost, but will likely be slightly higher because it will include maintenance and insurance costs.
The CRA plans to offset the costs of operating the trolley by offering advertising space on the cars, enabling patrons to ride for free.
The trolleys’ routes and schedule have not been finalized, but those details should be ironed out before the Tuesday vote, Jacobsen said, as South Florida Trolleys officials will help the CRA adopt the routes.
“We want the professionals to tell us this is the best route,” Jacobsen said.
The trolleys will offer those on the outskirts of downtown Cape Coral and those looking to cut back on transportation costs a cheap and easy way to hop from one spot to another during a night out on the town, he added.
“There’s a lot of people who live on the periphery of downtown,” Jacobsen said.
One trolley will be touring the downtown Cape area Tuesday evening to give the CRA boardmembers a demonstration before they vote on the project.
“Hopefully, that will prove the need,” Jacobsen said, adding that he is looking for a two- to three-year contract for the trolley after the trial period.