North Augusta looking to expand trolley use downtown

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Friday, May 17th, 2019 / News 12 at 11 o'clock

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Trolleys are coming back to North Augusta.

The city's bringing them back for public transportation, and you can book them for private events.

If you haven't noticed already...you will.

"The city used to have trolleys way back when, and I think the trolleys now kind of bring back that little bit of that history," said Jason Sikes with North Augusta Public Works.

North Augusta had trolleys decades ago. They connected North Augusta to Aiken.

Sikes say the new versions, which have only been used for GreenJackets home games and other special events until now, are changing the game.

"[It's an] opportunity for people to take to either host events--or go from point A to point B in the CSRA." Sikes explained.

His office is responsible for booking drivers and helping get events off the ground.

"Probably the best thing we like is getting to meet people. We get to meet people from all over." he told News 12.

"They will carry approximately 30-35 people per trolley," added North Augusta Parks and Rec Director Rick Meyer.

The City has two right now.

The trolleys provide a great recreational and tourism opportunity for guests, but the city has said it goes deeper than that. Officials told News 12 this goes in line with what they want their vision of North Augusta to be.

"They can eat in a downtown restaurant, be picked up by the trolley, and dropped off at the front gate of the stadium," said Meyer, when asked how he envisioned an evening with the trolleys playing out.

As Meyer said, the city's efforts to attract young people, and their work with companies like Main Street USA to revitalize downtown and make Georgia Avenue a destination, go hand in hand with this.

"I could even see the Peach Jam being used during the Nike Peach Jam," he said.

"It's not inconsistent with other cities like Savannah or Charleston," said neighbors Wade Whitaker, who is equally thrilled at the possibility of trolleys.

Whitaker says over time, this could be transformative.

"I think it's an excellent idea.....one that that deserves a try," he told News 12.

To learn more, you can visit the city's website. They charge a flat fee for rentals, and there's a two hour minimum.

The only way to get a ride is to reserve it. Their most popular request for rentals right now is from bridal parties who want to cruise in style to their destination.

The city is also thinking about adding tours.