Galveston's upcoming public transportation has some flair.
Four quaint, rubber-wheel trolley-like buses are being readied for the busy summer tourism season. They're anticipated to begin operating on the island by mid-May and will offer free rides this summer.
"The rail cars are going to take a year to be restored so the City will be using the rubber wheel trolleys along the rail line routes until they are back in service," Jaree Hefner, Galveston's Public Information Officer said. "Once the rail car trolleys are restored we will continue to use the rubber wheel trolleys on the Seawall route that runs from Stewart Beach to Moody Gardens."
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The trolley-like buses are intended to facilitate transportation on the island, especially during peak travel months.
"By 2018 we will have three rail car trolleys running the downtown route and connecting to the Seawall via 25th Street and four rubber-wheel trolleys moving riders from one end of the Seawall to the other," Hefner explained. "The hope is to have residents and visitors park their cars and use the trolleys and Island Transit to move about the island to help ease congestion during our busier seasons."
Once ready, they will be operating seven days a week, depending on ridership and costs. There will be roughly 20 minutes between buses at each stop, and it will take about 45 minutes to get from Stuart Beach to Moody Gardens.
"At this point in time we are looking at running them from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., but those details are still be finalized," Hefner said. "For this summer, the trolley's will be free to ride to help build ridership on the new amenity!"