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Date of Issue: April 07, 2005

Trolley sets record

While some Islanders might think that Island roads were jammed during spring break, often causing near gridlock, the Island trolley did its part to keep vehicles off the streets - and people moving about the Island.

Ralf Hesseler of Manatee County Area Transit said the Island trolley set a record Tuesday, March 29, with 3,027 passengers, but the sheer volume of traffic often put the trolley behind schedule.

"The schedule was difficult to maintain because of all the traffic, but just think of the number of vehicles if the trolley wasn't operating," he observed. "The most important thing was that we kept operating."

One trolley broke down and was out of service for a few hours one day last week, but that was the only disruption to the service.

"The trolley did what it's supposed to do," Hesseler said.

He also noted that some people have complained that the trolley did not stop at a location when they were waiting for pickup.

"When the vehicle is full and can't take any more passengers, the drivers don't stop. They are supposed to signal to waiting passengers that they have a full load, but people sometimes don't see the signal," Hesseler noted. He apologized for any inconvenience.

Hesseler added that plans are still under way for new trolleys to be introduced, but no contract for purchase will be signed until after a series of public meetings on the Island to get input from residents. Those meetings will be in the "very near future," he pledged.