Trolley Back on Track

Trolley Back on Track

One year later, proposed trolley to alleviate traffic in town rolls forward.

The wheels are moving again on a proposal to bring a trolley-type shuttle service to Herndon.

Suggested by Council member Dennis Husch in January 2005, the rubber-wheeled trolley service follows other small town transportation trends to move people through town with less traffic on the roads.

Husch and council member Steven Mitchell volunteered to head the Trolley Committee, which included Chris Griffin representing the Downtown Business Council, Scott Gessay from the Herndon Dulles Chamber of Commerce and Mark Duceman, transportation planner for the town.

Meeting a handful of times in January and February of last year, the committee determined a trolley service that ran through town every 15 to 20 minutes during lunch hour would be a valuable addition.

After presenting the idea to council in March, it was determined trolley plans should move forward. But, with other town projects and the summer's heated day-labor debates, the suggestion was left on a back burner, until now.

During its Jan. 17 works session council reviewed a presentation by Duceman that would allow the town to apply for a $50,000 grant that would fund a trolley feasibility study.

Approved during the council's Jan. 24 public hearing, under the grant the town would be required to supply $25,000 to help with the study. The study would offer an in-depth and practical look into how a trolley could be maximized in town. Once that is complete, town officials could explore additional grants to fund the purchase of trolleys or cover other operational costs.

"This grant application, if approved, formalizes the feasibility study," said Husch. "You have to do that before you can get financial help."

Suggested to initially run as a lunch shuttle, the hope is the trolley would expand to run from the Worldgate shopping center and a number of the larger businesses and parking lots in that area to the Kmart shopping area, the core downtown businesses, the Food Lion shopping center and back to the Worldgate shopping center.