A StarTran Downtown Trolley will begin all-day service Wednesday, December 19. The Trolley will serve a 13-stop route with access to the State Capitol, downtown, UNL, the Lied Center, the Haymarket, the Railyard and Pinnacle Bank Arena.
"Downtown Lincoln is thrilled to welcome the new trolleys to the area," said Todd Ogden, Deputy Director of Downtown Lincoln Association (DLA). "This attraction will serve as an additional incentive for visitors, residents and employees to use a route that connects a wide variety of downtown Lincoln attractions."
The trolley provides local transportation service to residents, students, workers, shoppers and entertainment seekers. Trolley service is free through February and 25 cents after that. It runs weekdays, every 15 minutes, between 6:15 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. and every seven minutes between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to support lunch traffic. In December and part of January, a StarTran bus will supplement the route over the lunch hour and in the early morning to allow for trolley fueling. The second trolley will be ready to start service in mid- to late-January after a few equipment upgrades to meet contract requirements. To learn more about the schedule, amenities and route, visit trolley.lincoln.ne.gov or call StarTran at 402-476-1234
"The new trolleys and route through downtown Lincoln will not only provide Lincoln residents with a fun way to visit their favorite restaurants and entertainment venues, but allows us to move convention and event visitors between hotels, restaurants, attractions and UNL's City campus," said Jeff Maul, Executive Director of Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). "This will further enhance an already memorable visitor experience and continue our growth as a destination for years to come."
The trolley features a vintage style with cushioned, oak benches, brass molding, leather handgrips and a bell, with all the accessibility and security features of a modern bus. The trolleys are fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG), which cuts tail pipe emissions by 20 percent compared to existing diesel buses.
"The Downtown Trolley is truly a service for every resident and visitor in Lincoln," said Mike Davis, Transit Manager. "It's a fun, affordable and easy way to grab lunch, catch a show or get to work in all kinds of weather. We especially thank our partners for their continued investment in our goal of meeting the evolving transportation needs of our patrons and our growing City."
The trolleys were purchased as part of the ongoing effort to replace 17-year-old buses that are losing fuel efficiency and have high maintenance costs. Each trolley costs about $437,000. The City received about $217,000 per trolley from the Federal Transit Administration Ladders of Opportunity Initiative that promotes job and economic growth through investments in public transit. Black Hills Energy provided $14,000 per vehicle to promote the use of domestic, efficient and clean CNG in public transit services in Lincoln. The DLA and CVB Bureau are assisting with promotional costs.