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CRA approves trial trolley service for the downtown area

By Staff | Mar 18, 2009

A San Francisco treat is coming to Cape Coral. Instead of three-minute rice, the downtown area will witness a three-month trial period of two trolleys that will transport passengers to destinations along Cape Coral Parkway and Southeast 47th Terrace.
The Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency passed a proposal Tuesday to lease the trolleys for $78,000 over the three-month span.
The trolleys will run for a total of 27 hours each over the course of Fridays and Saturdays during the trial period — exact run times have not been determined– and will begin “as soon as possible.”
CRA Boardmember Lou Simmons pushed for the trolleys, developing a contract proposal with Trolley Enterprises after a plan to lease trolleys from the Naples Trolley System fell through.
“It makes sense to get as many cars off the road. It’s just a fun thing to do,” he said.
Jody Perez, vice president of Trolley Enterprises, said the bus-like carriers, which have the look and feel of cable cars, will add a new dimension to the downtown area.
“It’s the uniqueness of having an attraction in an area that needs a little boost. You need to do something that’s going to spice it up a little bit,” she said.
CRA staffers, boardmembers and members of the public were offered a ride on the trolley as a demonstration before the vote.
One CRA board member, however, was not swayed by the trip.
“I’m sorry, but I’m not in favor of the trolleys. With the economy the way it’s been, it’s too much money,” CRA Boardmember Bob Greco said. “Everybody that comes down here is already in a car. To me, we can spend that money on something else.”
CRA executive director John Jacobsen countered that the trolleys would be an attraction for the area and might even bring in additional revenue.
“You can also rent this trolley out and have a new revenue source,” he said.
The CRA also plans to offer advertising opportunities on the trolleys to downtown businesses to subsidize the costs, so it does not have to charge riders a fare.