FRESH DIRT > A new way to travel between downtown and the beach
The City of Santa Cruz has recently adopted a new member into its public transportation family: a 1930’s-style replica trolley. It is hard for people to miss if they are anywhere between the classic Del Mar Theater and the Wharf, because it is the only vehicle of its kind in town. Sporting a green exterior with real wood trim, this classic ride is starting to transport locals and tourists around in style to the key destinations in town.
Dreamed up by the Downtown Association and the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, the trolley is meant to provide locals and tourists with an accessible and simple way to go between downtown and the beach. To make it official, members of the city council, including Mayor Ryan Coonerty, the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Association, and the trolley program’s sponsors, were on hand the afternoon of Wednesday, June 29 to take part in a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony in Downtown Santa Cruz at the Del Mar Theater—the trolley route’s starting point.
After the ribbon was cut, those in attendance at the ceremony boarded the trolley to experience the ride from downtown to the Wharf. The interior is quite the novelty, which includes real wood and brass trimming, giving it that authentic 1930’s feel. When riding it, it is easy to imagine yourself in a different era. If your eyes are not convinced, then perhaps your body will be as you sit on the wooden benches, which are surprisingly comfortable.
The trolley is more than aesthetically appealing, however, as it runs on compressed natural gas, a feature that is sure to please the environment. The trolley program has several purposes, and one of them is to reduce traffic between downtown and the beach, especially during the summer when tourists visit the city. Cutting traffic also cuts carbon emissions. Therefore, if the trolley program is effective, it could have a positive effect on the air quality and environmental friendliness in Santa Cruz.
The cost to ride the trolley is $.25, making for a very affordable trip. During the summer the trolley will run seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.—time enough for a long walk on the beach, dinner and movie, whether by yourself or with a date.