With the spring season underway, plans for Gig Harbor’s upcoming summer tourist season are in motion all over the city.
Pierce Transit has summer plans as well, after signing the contract agreement for the 2016 Pierce Transit Trolley service in Gig Harbor, set to run from June 2 to Sept. 5.
The Gig Harbor Trolley is a special service that helps connect visitors to Gig Harbor — especially visiting Gig Harbor boaters — with areas of the city beyond the waterfront district.
“It’s really a unique partnership,” said Sue Dreier, Pierce Transit CEO.
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The trolley service features special buses and uniforms for the drivers, along with a specialized script used by the driver’s to highlight historical facts about Gig Harbor, Dreier said.
City staff recently promoted the Trolley service at the Seattle Boat Show as another of the city’s amenities, said Karen Scott, Tourism and Communications director for Gig Harbor.
“We’ve developed a great partnership with the other business that are part of the trolley system,” Scott said. “It’s a great way to provide transportation from out visiting boaters around town.”
Last summer the Trolley had 14,083 boardings and a ridership that was up 20 percent from the previous year.
In addition to the summer service, the Trolley has also served crowds during recent Gig Harbor events such as the Girls’ Night Out in December and the Sip & Stroll in February.
Beyond maintaining the Trolley service and helping it grow locally, Dreier said the current goal for Pierce Transit is to restore and expand services along its routes within its service areas. This involves analyzing ridership along these fixed routes to meet the demands and needs of its riders and expanding service hours over the next 16 months.
As Pierce Transit expands its services, Dreier said that the Trolley partnership serves as a model for other cities interested in similar services.
Scott agreed that the benefits of the Trolley service to Gig Harbor residents, visitors and businesses have been positive.
“We’ve seen just a really neat partnership bloom among all the parties,” Scott said. “It’s a really unique and special program. We’re excited it’s back.”
The Gig Harbor Trolley is a partnership agreement between Pierce Transit, the city of Gig Harbor, the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce, the Merchants of Uptown and the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance, which subsidize rider fares.
For a Trolley schedule, fares and route information, visit piercetransit.org/pt-trolley.