CLINTON — Clinton residents should get used to seeing the city’s trolley bus making its way around the city on Saturday mornings this summer.
Finally operational after a lengthy process to install a new handicap-accessible lift for the trolley, the bus debuted its Saturday route last weekend, hitting local favorites and landmarks such as Fifth Avenue South, Main Avenue and the Lyons District, Eagle Point Park, the Sawmill Museum and Bickelhaupt Arboretum.
The hour-long, free ride currently is planned to be offered to passengers on Saturdays until Labor Day, city officials have said. As the trolley traverses the city, appreciation for the vehicle shouldn’t be understated.
“A lot of effort has gone into getting it back into usable shape,” John Griffin, transit operations coordinator for the city of Clinton said. “It’s been a long time coming, and everyone will continue to work hard to keep it in use and keep it in the great shape that it’s in now.”
Clinton City Administrator Matt Brooke was one of many that took in the first ride on the trolley Saturday, as well as other city officials, such as City Councilman Cody Seeley.
Brooke praised the work of the city’s transit department for installing another asset that can be enjoyed by the Clinton community.
“It really shows the great job done by Dennis (Hart, Transit and Fleet director of the city of Clinton),” Brooke said. “The kids and everybody else on board really loved it. It’s been a great thing all around to get the ADA lift on it and let the community enjoy this.”
The ride is free because of donations from several local sponsors, according to Clinton Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Mary Seely.
So far, confirmed sponsors have been the CVB, Rastrelli’s, the Lyons Business and Professional Association, the Downtown Clinton Alliance, the Sawmill Museum, Rally Appraisal and Citizens First Bank. Other potential sponsors have contacted Seely, but haven’t officially donated.
“We’ll definitely keep taking the donations as they come in,” Seely said. “It’s great that we’ve had so many businesses and groups come forward so far, and we’re working with some more. Some more are in the works. It’s nice to see that the trolley has that much community support.”