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The New Trolley is Free
updated: Jul 09, 2013, 8:55 PM

Ventura Breeze

The new trolley is free so use it.

Downtown Ventura Partners (DVP) led a coalition of business groups to provide a trolley to transport residents and visitors from downtown to the harbor. The trolley will be free for riders and privately operated by DVP. Operation costs will be funded through private contributions and advertising revenue.

Communities have found people enjoy riding streetcars and can be lured from their automobiles by reliable, frequent service on trolleys. Residents and visitors can "jump on" to travel to attractions, restaurants, hotels, stores, office buildings in the downtown and harbor areas for free.

The trolley helps eliminate short auto trips between the beach, downtown, harbor and hotels. Replacing auto trips with trolley trips helps decrease parking demand, traffic congestion, and air pollution. For businesses, the trolley means more customers without the additional parking demand. For visitors and hotel guests, the radius of the area they can visit easily expands if there is visible and frequent streetcar transportation. The ride also becomes part of the visitor experience.

The trolley can also create a buzz of what is going on in Ventura. The trolley can heighten Ventura as a weekend getaway and daytrip location. The trolley will make regular stops starting at the Amtrak platform next to the Ventura County Fairgrounds, so visitors could arrive by train and access their hotel without a car to enjoy Ventura.

In a world that is both increasingly aware of humanity's impact on the environment and plagued by high fuel costs, public transportation is becoming a more vital and in-demand part of every major metropolitan area. Ventura has set into motion plans to provide visitors and locals with a complimentary public trolley that will make getting to the beach and around Ventura easier than ever.

Aptly referred to as the "Downtown-Harbor Trolley," this new public transportation system will run from the historic Downtown to the Ventura Harbor Village, making regular stops along the way and "flag" stops as requested.

On July 3 the new Ventura Trolley had its maiden voyage as it left from the Amtrak station. The first passengers to board were Ventura firefighter Michael Westbrook and his wife April and their children Matthew and Makayla

The trolley's overall route will include the ability to make "flag" stops along the way. Licensed and uniformed trolley drivers carry hands-free phone devices, with a phone number (827-4444) listed on signs at each pre-determined stop at coastal hotels, including the Four Points by Sheraton/Holiday Inn, Ventura Beach Marriott and Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel. Drivers also can be contacted for arrival time estimates.

The trolley is the creation of the Downtown Ventura Partners (DVP), who have purchased and operate the trolley. Operations will be funded through a unique partnership including the Ventura Port District, Ventura Harbor Village, Rhumb Line Restaurant, Ventura County Fairgrounds, City of Ventura, with additional support from Watermark Restaurant, NeedThree, Montecito Bank & Trust, City of Ventura Environmental Sustainability, Ventura Water, Island Packers, Andria's Seafood Restaurant & Market, Crown Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel, Ventura Visitors & Conventions Bureau, Ventura County Air Pollution Control District and Ventura County West.

Now that service has started the trolley will run 5 days a week, Wednesday through Sunday, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. during the summer season, with the ability to adjust hours of operation and location stops. On weeks that involve major holidays, the trolley service will adjust accordingly by moving Wednesday's service to Monday and by adding more stops.

For more information on the trolley, contact DVP Director Kevin Clerici or Project Manager Meredith Dilg at 641-1090. For more information on Ventura accommodations, attractions and events visit www.ventura-usa.com or phone 800-483-6215. A non-profit organization, the Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau enhances tourism and the economy by positioning the City of Ventura as a visitor and conference destination. The Visitors Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

New trolley drivers John and Zeke will make your trip around Ventura a smooth ride.

Photo by Laura D. Luongo

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Downtown Ventura Partners Director Kevin Clerici was on board for a short trip from the Rhumb Line to the Harbor during a pre-introduction party held at the Rhumb Line and attended by many Ventura dignitaries that featured fine finger food provided by the Rhumb Line.

Photo by Laura D. Luongo

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