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CRA seeks to extend trolley service for one year

By Staff | Jul 22, 2009

The Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency plans to move forward with a request for proposal for continued trolley service in the downtown corridor.
With two months left on a continued trial run, CRA board members hope to extend the free service for one year.
Executive Director John Jacobsen said public response to the trolley has been increasingly positive with ridership numbers growing since its inception.
“We’re seeing a good response, trolley usage is on an uptick,” he said. “We’re seeing a great variety of users.”
Along with extending the trolley service, the CRA board is also hoping that advertising revenues will increase.
Offering a year’s worth of contractual options to advertisers might increase the number of businesses owners who use the trolley to promote their business. At least, the CRA hopes so.
“I was trying to get a feel for the amount of advertising dollars, see what type of subsidy would be created,” said Board Member Frank Dethlefsen. “What would the CRA expect in return for those advertising dollars?”
He also wondered if the money being spent on the trolleys, which he openly supports, might be used more effectively to advertise the downtown corridor on radio and television.
Board Member Don Heisler thinks the trial runs for the trolley have been incredibly successful during the spring and summer, a time when snowbirds are generally back up north.
“If it’s working now, as it appears to be, how can this be a bad thing when season arrives?” he asked. “It’s all part of the package we’re doing for South Cape … I think we’re on the right track, but it’s not going to be an overnight success.”
The CRA also has plans to institute a “history tour” utilizing the trolley system.
Jacobsen said city historians Paul Sanborn and Elmer Tabor are working on the tour, which would point out original Cape locales like where the Nautilus hotel used to be and where the Rosen Brothers used to land their airplanes along what is now Southeast 47th Terrace.