Long Beach just cannot get their s*** together. I’m glad we have Allison of Long Beach Streets because she is really on top of this. The following was sent by Allison to City Council earlier this week:
“The new map that quietly replaced the old map on Monday morning shows no Shoppers Special. To be clear here, the Summer Trolley and the Shoppers Special routes have been cancelled, with no notice on the city website or to residents who have been stranded curbside. The West End loop on weekends is free for daily / seasonal beach pass holders – despite the West End beaches being occupied by the ACOE pumping sand.
And none of you knew about this? Come on now.
This City Council approved a budget that double the size of the DOT while cutting bus services in half. Will you ever hold the Deputy City Manager / Head of Transit Michael Robinson accountable? – Allison Blanchette of Long Island Streets. “
It’s crazy how long I’ve been blogging trolley problems. If the new route looped Maple Blvd/Park to Nevada/Beech, I would totally be fine with that. Just make it a business route. You hop on. You hop off. Make it reliable and call it a day. Advertise at the LIRR and you’ll get some of the train folks to spend money in the West End. Isn’t that the ultimate goal here? [I WISH I got paid for this…… ]
Don’t forget it’s a free ride with a beach pass. Green & red with new routes, inspired by the post we did on this blog last year [LINK]. You should be able to catch a trolley every fifteen minutes. Soon the city will be installing ‘bus stop’ style signs with schedules, making the experience a whole lot easier. Yeah… I like the trolleys. The City of Long Beach trolleys will begin running on weekends starting today at 9:15 AM. They are FREE to ride with a valid beach pass.
Here is the new city transportation map, including the new trolley route:
Trolley ride is $2.25 or FREE with beach pass! FREE! Now you have no excuse!This could be a real big boost for local businesses, particularly those in the West End attracting us hate-to-drive-and-park East End folks.
I was going to work on this post next week, but after just texting it over with local John McNally, I believe we came up with the best way for our trolleys (that’s plural) to be utilized in Long Beach.
Unlike the normal bus system, which is an Island-wide people mover, the main purpose of the trolley is to get folks to and from the transportation hub and commercial districts. For that reason alone, the trolley route needs to be frequent and simple.
Here is the current route:
Here is the SeabytheCity/John McNally proposedRoute (neither official, nor city endorsed):
The SeabytheCity/John McNally Route would utilize both city-owned trolleys (open air and closed “shoppers special”). With the LIRR station as the main hub, one trolley goes east on Park Avenue (East Loop), while the other goes west (West Loop).
The West Loop trolley would stop at the LIRR station and go directly to the West End before finishing its loop. I nominate the open air trolley for the West Loop. It’s the most fun and best incentive to get those LIRR visitors to go west. The East Loop Trolley will go east to Roosevelt Blvd and will cut down to Shore Road ,etc. Follow the lines on the map above (West Loop is red, East Loop is blue).
This route would cover more of Park Avenue, making the trolley system more accessible.Those in the northern WestHolme section would have better trolley access than what they currently have.
Right now the open air trolley takes an estimated 50/60 minutes to complete the full loop. With both trolleys in circulation, this time would be cut in half, giving you more opinions for your overall destination.
Again, this is just something we came up with for fun. How would you folks fix the trolley route?
“Clang, clang, clang, went the trolley Ding, ding, ding, went the bell Zing, zing, zing, went my heartstrings As we started for THE CITY OF LONG BEACH”
I saw it coming down the street. It was fifteen minutes early, but I anticipated that. I also anticipated it not stopping at the designated stop. With a giant wave and a scream, the driver slowed down and I hopped on. That’s right, yesterday I took the new open air trolley for a joyride around Long Beach. With no destination in mind, I road the full loop and I loved every single second of it.
There is no denying how quaint this trolley is. Along with wooden benches were leather straps for you strap-hanging fans plus lots of brass to complete the old-fashioned look. The rear row of seats face forward while the others to the sides. The ride was very airy, comfortable and I felt safe.
Don’t pay attention to the posted schedule on the brochure (City of Long Beach Trolley Schedule & Local Business Guide.) I followed this trolley for much of the day and it definitely runs by its own clock. It also doesn’t automatically stop at the map-marked stops. If you want a lift, you’ll have to wave it down. The full loop is supposed to take one hour. My ride was around 50 minutes. Of course, everyday will be different.
Riding on Beech Street through the West End was a bit of a blast. I felt like a tourist when passing establishments such as Shines, Minnesota’s & Swingbellys with their patrons pointing, smiling, waving, laughing.
One thing that struck me as kinda odd was that it doesn’t stop directly in front of the LIRR station. This trolley is primed to pick up the ‘bridge & train crowd” (NYC folks); Didn’t Newsday just say 14,000 come to Long Beach on a typical hot summer weekend day? Let’s bring these ‘bridge & train’ folks to our local businesses and get them spend all of their money here! Unless there is a reason why it can’t stop at the station. Anybody care the chime in?
The trolley also doesn’t stop at the Rec center, which I always figured to be an important part of our city. Perhaps that’s not the point of this trolley, as it does hit almost all the beach entrances and downtowns. Of course, we always have our normal bus system for those other stops.
Another minor note is that the trolley doesn’t seem to run that late. If you’re taking it out for dinner or drinks, chances are you’ll have to find another way home. That is, unless you enjoy senior specials or like to go out early. The city provides a map with all the stops and a local business guide. Each stop has a number assigned to it. You can view all this online at the official City of Long Beach website: City of Long Beach Trolley Schedule & Local Business Guide.
Bravo, Long Beach! Minor kinks aside, If this trolley takes off, it’s going to be great for our local businesses. Also for us residents as well. Being that I’m in the east, I’ll definitely take this trolley for a ride to the west when I don’t feel like dealing with parking. I really enjoyed the ride and loved being carried around Long Beach while feeling the fresh air and sun. All you debbie-downers can say what you want, but I am an open air trolley convert.
Seriously, if you haven’t tried it yet, you should. Just remember: if you want a ride, make sure the driver see you. Waving it down is part of the charm, after all. The base fare is $2 and $1 for persons with disabilities, seniors & students; children under 5 ride for free! Wanna go for a ride? Get all your info here:City of Long Beach Trolley Schedule & Local Business Guide.
Yep, this morning @ around 9am on E. Park Ave. I wrote about Long Beach getting one way back in May 2009, but never saw any mention of it since. I’m not exactly sure what the city plans on doing with this trolley since we just bought some brand new dark blue buses, but it’s cool nonetheless. I’ll try to post some real photos of our Long Beach trolley bus, but it basically looked like the one in the picture below. If anybody has a photo of ours, please send it to me or post it here.