The best deal in Long Beach: The Trolley Bus. Use your beach pass to catch a free ride around town. You folks in the east want to go west? Take the trolley and avoid parking. You folks in the west want a parking spot? Park your car in the east and take the trolley back west. It’s that simple.
Flag down the trolley and hop on; the driver is friendly, the ride is safe, smooth and comfortable. Problem is: Not too many people seem to be using this amazing form of transportation. I think there are two issues: 1) the map/schedule is confusing 2) lack of proper and attractive signage around town showing people when/how/where to use it.
The Map/schedule. Granted, I’m not the brightest bulb in the bunch, but I do know to follow instructions. It took me forever to figure out the map routes. Some might get WEST LOOP/EAST LOOP bus routes confused with WESTBOUND/EASTBOUND trolley bus times. Then there is the Shopper’s special trolley bus that goes EAST&WEST. Also, perhaps I’m slightly colorblind, but it looks like the Shopper’s Special West actually goes on the boardwalk. Also, aren’t those Shopper’s Specials trolley buses the same buses as the trolley buses? Should the Shopper’s special East/West be combined with the Trolley Eastbound/Westbound? And how can we make it clear to differentiate the West Loop/East Loop buses from the Eastbound/Westbound Trolley buses and the Shopper’s Special East/Shopper’s special West trolley buses, which may or may not be the same trolley buses being used for the Trolley East Bound/West Bound?
I know…. THIS ALL LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF A DR. SEUSS BOOK! What we have are similar forms of transportation going similar directions on similar routes: “Green trolley, red trolleys, blue bus blue. One for me and one for you.” Can you imagine if you stepped off the train with no knowledge of Long Beach trying to figure this out? “How do you fix it? We don’t know. Go ask your pop. He might know!”
Ok, so now let’s talk about signs. There is a map and schedule taped to a utility pole on National Blvd. Is that enough? I am assuming you can find the same attractive postings at the LIRR, Maple and Nevada, right? I heard actual signs are coming, so I’m hoping they are just backordered or something. Not sitting in some city garage collecting dust with the bike signs for park avenue we were promised….
I really didn’t mean to write a post bashing the trolleys. I swear, I love these silly buses. So instead of the naysayers who hate everything, I would love to hear from the people who actually road the trolley. What was your experience like with figuring out the map and schedule? Would you do anything differently? What do you think the city needs to do to get more people to use this FREE WITH BEACH PASS form of transportation?