UPDATE: The Gainesville Summer Lunch Trolley service has ended for the season. Check back in 2022 for its return!
GAINESVILLE, Ga. (July 14, 2021) – The City of Gainesville is proud to announce the soft launch of a lunchtime trolley service utilizing one of Gainesville’s two new blue-and-white trolleys.
“Local retailers and residents have been talking about a lunch and dinner trolley service for years,” said Gainesville-Hall County Community Service Center Director Phillippa Lewis Moss. “It has always been on our list of things to do, but in 2019, the funding came together and the rest is history.”
The trolley, which has the capability of transporting 24 passengers at one time, officially hit the streets Monday, July 12, and could be seen circling the historic square in downtown Gainesville – home to some of the community's favorite eateries and craft beer/wine providers.
“For several years now, local residents who have traveled to other communities with trolley services have come home to ask, ‘Why don’t we have a trolley?’ Many Georgia communities have integrated trolleys into their transportation plan,” Moss said, such as the North Georgia communities of Athens, Milledgeville, etc.
The lunchtime trolley, as it’s called, will travel along a set route (shown) from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding City-observed holidays.
“The trolley will travel along Browns Bridge Road and Jesse Jewell Parkway picking up passengers at bus stops previously reserved for Gainesville Connection,” Moss said. “These signs will be rebranded over the next few weeks.”
Gainesville recently underwent a change in transit offerings, sunsetting Dial-A-Ride and Gainesville Connection services to focus on WeGo, the City’s new vanpool service that launched in December 2020. WeGo uses a smartphone app, WeGo Powered by Via, and a fleet of 17 passenger vans to transport you safely around town at a low fare.
The lunchtime trolley is free to anyone and everyone at no cost, and City officials expect the annual service to be offered exclusively during the spring and summer months. The trolley can also comfortably accommodate handicapped passengers, including wheelchairs.
“In the midst of a busy workday, the trolley is a fun way to break up the day and grab a bite to eat,” Moss said. “The classic look of the trolley is a nod to a period (late 1800s and early 1900s) when trolleys were all the rage across the country.”
Though the City purchased two trolleys, only one will make the lunchtime rounds. In 2020, Gainesville received federal funding to help City officials advance transit system offerings.
“At this time, only one trolley will operate during the lunch break,” Moss said. “You’ll also see them during special events such as the upcoming Olympic Celebration in August at Lake Lanier Olympic Park.”
To learn more, visit gainesville.org and/or follow @GainesvilleGeorgiaGovernment on Facebook.