CRA extends trial period for trolleys in downtown area
Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency board members voted 5-1 Tuesday to extend the current trolley contract, which was set to expire July 18, for two months.
The move will cost the CRA, which in April spent about $73,000 for a three-month trial period for two trolleys to carry passengers Fridays and Saturdays around the Cape downtown and yacht club areas, about $50,000.
“We’re just starting to get the word out and we just haven’t had long enough,” CRA Executive Director John Jacobsen said.
CRA board members said the trolley adds a new attraction to the area and business owners along the route are behind it.
“(Downtown business owners) are all in favor of it and they would like to be included in the routes,” CRA board member Frank Dethlefson said.
The CRA may, however, tinker with the current schedule to provide service on more days during the week and appeal to more advertisers to cover costs.
The trolleys currently run from 10 a.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays.
Jacobsen said he favors spreading those service hours out over more days to attract more advertisers, but no concrete plan is in place.
“The more it is on the street the more advertising dollars we can get,” he said.
Support for the two-month extension was not unanimous, however, with CRA board member Bob Greco voting against it, noting that the $50,000 could be better spent.
But Jacobsen countered that the CRA could rent out the trolleys for special events to help offset costs in addition to advertising dollars, and that stopping the trolley now would make it harder to get it going again in the future.
“I would hate to lose that momentum,” he said.