There may be more than one reason why the trolley is under used. The trolley is attractive and it should be really helpful for a town built on steep hills.
It could also be a tourist attraction. However, riders have to feel comfortable on it. In my opinion, the trolley experience can be unpleasant. Two out of the three times I’ve taken the trolley have been disappointing. Once I took my two-year-old grandson, Matt, for a ride around town and it was all good, all lots of fun.
The second time I took Matt for a ride a different driver asked me where we were going. I replied that I was taking this two-year-old for a fun experience, nowhere specific. The driver told me that the trolley was not meant for joyrides, but instead was a vehicle for shopping.
I was surprised at being confronted that way, and offered to get off if the trolley filled up and our seats were needed, which of course certainly didn’t happen. It was upsetting to me that the driver was rude.
The third time I took the trolley was recent, during the Stanley Cup playoffs. I walked down the hill to the 49th Parallel grocery planning to take the trolley home after shopping. All OK this time, I thought, I am shopping. I’m allowed to take the trolley.
I looked at the schedule and saw that the trolley would stop there and then go off to Transfer Beach before returning to the store and then would go up the hill. OK, all finished shopping, I’ll just relax and ride the trolley to Transfer Beach and back.
Sorry, no way, if you aren’t going to Transfer Beach, you cannot ride the trolley there. The driver insisted that I not board until the return and was then heading up the hill. Luckily the hockey playoffs were showing over at Aggie Hall so I waited over there watching the game until the trolley returned and then I was allowed to board to go up the hill, the only passenger on the bus.
Do you see what I’m getting at? How welcome does anyone feel on this system? The airlines could hardly come up with more barriers and regulations. In order to build ridership the trolley needs to be somewhat user-friendly.
Very uncomfortable for me to be confronted on boarding, and then twice denied access. I will certainly be reluctant to use it again, and I’ve spoken with others, too.
A bad opinion transfers around.