Expanding Trolley Service

More and more passengers are riding Bay Town Trolley system, with ridership up 23% last month alone. Managers say it's time to grow, but they need help.

So, they've decided to go to local government for money to expand the trolley service.

Beth Coulliette is the Executive Director of the Council on Aging and the Bay Town Trolley. "As a service provider, I see the needs of the public, and we have to balance those with the willingness of the taxpayers and the cost of the services."

She says over the years, she's seen the service take off, and an expansion's about due. "We know the riders need the service and they need expanded service. And we are just happy to provide that based on whatever's available for that service to be provided.”

"So the numbers show it, the ridership is on the rise, and Ms. Coulliette says this whole thing comes down to one thing - dollars and sense. And in a culture of lower tax rates, who's going to foot the bill for this expansion?

Coulette responded, "We're just here to operate the trolley during the hours that the ridership prefers it during, and for the dollars local public officials can afford to pay. That would be like spending money if you have a car. You have to pay for gas."

The Bay County Transportation Planning Organization has the final say on the proposal. There’s no word yet on when they'll make a decision.

The proposal would cost 1 point 3 million dollars, and would expand trolley hours to 8pm on weekdays as well as add a Saturday service from 6 a-m to 8 p-m.