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Posted on: July 18, 2017

New trolley bus route geared toward shopping, other activities in River District

A new trolley bus route is coming to Danville next month.


Starting Aug. 4, the service will be available 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every Saturday and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. the first Friday of each month.


The Mainline trolley bus route will run from Ballou Park to the River District (including the Danville Science Center/Community Market/Crossing at the Dan) to North Main Street at Moana Place.


It will include 40 stops along the route, said Danville Transportation Director Marc Adelman.


Fares will be $1 per ride with a half-fare discount for seniors and disabled people until noon on Saturdays, Adelman said. Children 12 and under accompanied by an adult will ride for free.


Signs will be at each stop displaying boarding times for that particular location, Adelman said. The trolley bus will hit each bus stop location every 45 minutes, he said.


The route’s schedule — based on responses from a survey — is geared toward shopping and other activities in the River District downtown, Adelman said.


“It helps provide shopping opportunities and recreational activities,” he said, adding that it could increase activity in the area around the Community Market.


The route will complement shopping and dining in the River District, he added.


“This is a common service provided by many transit systems across the country,” Adelman said.


It will also provide transportation in the North Main Street area including the North Theatre, 616 Farm to Table, and Moon River Thai.


Danville City Councilman James Buckner introduced the idea and a subcommittee was formed. Buckner — who chaired the subcommittee — credited its members for helping make the idea a reality. The members were Linwood Duncan, Earl Reynolds, Alexis Ehrhardt, Debbie Flinn and Ernecia Coles.


The route follows Danville’s old Mainline from years ago, Buckner said.


“It could really serve the community in so many different ways,” Buckner said.


The trolley bus will be one of two trolleys that the city has. They were renovated last year and one has been used as a spare for Danville’s fixed-route bus service and for special occasions for reserved rides for 10 or more people, Adelman said.


Bus trolley features include new flooring, vintage lights and a front destination sign.


Adelman said the new route may not cost the city anything, depending on ridership volume. The city will receive state and federal funding to subsidize the service’s operating cost, he said. Cost for operating it will be $30 per hour of operation.


The trolley buses each have a capacity of 26.


Other services coming next month include expanded bus service to Goodwill Industries and Centra Danville Medical Center on Aug. 1, and a new Averett Cougar Express bus route.


John Crane reports for the Danville Register & Bee. Contact him at jcrane@registerbee.com or (434) 791-7987.

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