The free trolley service is returning this summer to downtown Peterborough.
The Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) first launched the service last summer, providing free trolley rides every Wednesday and Saturday to Peterborough Musicfest in Del Crary Park. The service was an immediate hit with tourists, diners, and Musicfest patrons.
This year, the San Francisco-style trolley will also offer rides to the Kawartha Craft Beer Festival, which takes place this year in Del Crary Park on Friday, June 14th and Saturday, June 15th.
After that, the trolley returns on Saturday, June 29th for the first Peterborough Musicfest concert of the season and will run on a regular schedule every Wednesday and Saturday evening until the final Musicfest concert of the summer on Saturday, August 17th.
“We want to support Musicfest in a way that also helps our downtown,” says DBIA Executive Director Terry Guiel. “The charm of the trolley coupled with us offering it as a free service is a fun and welcoming way for us to get people to enjoy the concerts while exploring our downtown restaurants and retail stores.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with the Peterborough DBIA to bring the trolley back for season 33 of Peterborough Musicfest,” says Peterborough Musicfest general manager Tracey Randall. “It was a huge hit last summer and adds some extra fun and convenience to our already exciting concert nights.”
All stops will occur on the right side of George Street. Trolley pickups will begin at Confederation Square (across from City Hall) and continue at the intersections with Brock, Hunter, Simcoe, Charlotte and King from 6 to 10 p.m.
New this year, the trolley will now go all the way to the Memorial Centre parking lot to pick up concert goers who park there. The longer route is intended to reduce vehicle congestion and to encourage more people to attend the concerts and bring more people to the downtown.
The trolley is owned and operated by Michael Bryant of Dromoland out of Little Britain (it is actually a converted bus made to look like a trolley). Bryant says the trolley is celebrating its 20th year in operation and he will celebrate this season with prizes and gifts for riders, including commemorative trolley tickets.
According to local historian Elwood Jones, real trolleys used to run in downtown Peterborough between 1904 and 1928, with a much earlier version in the 1890s.
The trolley is accessible and can hold 30 people seated and 15 standing.
The Peterborough DBIA notes the trolley is not intended as a substitute for Peterborough Transit. The demand for this free trolley will exceed its capacity, especially when the concerts end each night. Priority will be given to those with mobility issues, seniors, and expectant mothers or parents with young children, with seating based on availability.
In addition to the trolley, the Peterborough DBIA and Musicfest have teamed up with Peterborough Transit to promote cycling to the concerts. Peterborough Transit will be hosting free supervised bike parking at Del Crary Park. Bike lanes from downtown to Del Crary can be found on George Street as well as via Otonabee River Trail.
The trolley service is provided by the DBIA with sponsorship from Aon Inc., Cogeco Your TV, Ontario Carpet Supermart, Peterborough Inn & Suites, Shoreline’s Casino Peterborough, Peterborough Transit, and Miskin Law Offices.