City News

Trolley riders return as weekend service is restored

After a slow start to the year, the Charlotte Trolley is starting to gain back some of the scores of riders who packed the cars in past years.

Put back in service in late April, the trolley's ridership has increased from 875 in May to 1,556 in July.

August's numbers aren't yet available.

“We're very pleased with what we're seeing now,” said Ron Tober, Charlotte Trolley's executive director and former head of the Charlotte Area Transit System.

The trolley, which only runs hourly Saturdays and Sundays, averaged about 195 riders per day in July, while the light rail has averaged more than 16,000 riders per weekday on average since starting in November.

The light rail runs daily – every 7.5 minutes during rush hour.

Both forms of transportation share the same tracks.

Tober still says the trolley offers a unique glimpse of Charlotte's past and gives riders another option when the light rail gets crowded.

The trolley, though, was supposed to operate daily by late May. Tober said costly fuel prices have slowed that plan.

The trolley runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sundays for the same fares as the light rail – $1.30 each way for adults and 65 cents each way for seniors and youths. It starts at Atherton Mill and ends at Ninth Street, with nine stops in between.

Heads Up

UPTOWN HEART WALK: The 2008 Start! Charlotte Heart Walk will close some Uptown streets Saturday (Sept. 20) morning. The route starts and ends at The Square and includes the following streets: Trade, Graham, Fourth, Walnut, Litaker, Summit, Greenleaf and Cedar.

ELIZABETH AVENUE PROJECT: Elizabeth Avenue Business Corridor Project construction will close two blocks of Torrence Street. The 200 block of Torrence northbound will close Wednesday (Sept. 17) for four days, and the 100 block of Torrence northbound will close Thursday (Sept. 18) for three days.

BRIDGE CLOSING: The Bramlet Road private bridge between Chantilly Lane and Monroe Road has closed indefinitely.