Clearwater, FL (PRWEB) October 14, 2013
The Jolley Trolley has long been a Clearwater mainstay, providing reliable transportation to local residents and tourists alike. With its mission to improve mobility and reduce congestion in the area, the Jolley Trolley recently added another vehicle to its line—Trolley #19. Number 19 departed from the Publix at Island Estates on its Maiden Voyage, heading to North Beach, at 10:00 a.m. on September 25, driven by Jolley Trolley’s most senior driver, Ron Goodman.
Florida is a top vacation destination, with Clearwater seeing more than 878,000 visitors from 2011-2012 (1). The Jolley Trolley’s newest vehicle was added to not only lessen the age of its fleet, but also better equip the organization to handle the volume of tourists in the area. Trolley #19 is an exact replica of Trolley #8—it’s an air-conditioned trolley cooled by a separate generator, yet it has all of the wood-and-brass charm and ambiance found only in a true trolley. Senior driver Goodman, who just began his ninth year of safe driving with the Jolley Trolley, remembers the early days, when there were only eight cars and none with air conditioning—the drivers did their own fueling, there were no Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) or Jolley Trolley passes, and there was no set time that the trolley would be at its stop locations.
“Ron has been with us for several years and he’s seen how the organization has grown,” said Jolley Trolley Executive Director Rosemary Longenecker. “He’s a big part of our team and is very proud of our accomplishments—he was thrilled to be the first driver of Trolley #19.”
Goodman says that he has always known that his special talent would be working in the transportation field – as a young boy, he would sneak onto parked trolleys and sit behind the wheel, pretending to be a driver. Goodman began his career while living in Philadelphia – he operated a trolley for the city for two years before transferring over to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) city bus system, where he remained until his retirement after 30 years of service. During that time he accumulated a 100% safe driving record, earning a spot on the bus system’s “Wall of Fame.” Eventually settling permanently in Palm Harbor, Goodman, who refused to remain idle even during retirement, began working the Jolley Trolley’s night shift on Clearwater Beach – that was nine years ago and Goodman hasn’t looked back since.
“I enjoy meeting people from the many parts of the world – I especially love driving the Phillies Spring training trolley shuttles for the games,” said Goodman. “I’m very happy to be a part of the Jolley Trolley and look forward to spending many more years with the organization.”
The newest trolley not only facilitates route expansion and job security, per Longenecker, but also enables the organization to keep up with public demand—the Jolley Trolley now transports 600,000 passengers annually, compared to 68,000 passengers in 2009.
As part of its growth, the Jolley Trolley will expand its routes to include Westfield Mall and Safety Harbor in the spring of 2014. Trolley #20 is also in the manufacturing stage, with an anticipated delivery date in mid-February, 2014.
To get the best value out of the trolley system, residents and visitors are encouraged to purchase a pass which allows unlimited rides, including all connections for the day. The pass is interchangeable between both the Jolley Trolley and the PSTA.
For more information about the Jolley Trolley, visit http://www.clearwaterjolleytrolley.com.
About Jolley Trolley:
Clearwater’s Jolley Trolley is an independent non-profit formed in 1982, and has been a popular mode of transportation since its inception. Both residents and visitors alike utilize the Jolley Trolley to avoid parking and traffic congestion problems. The Jolley Trolley Board of Directors consists of prominent Clearwater business professionals who represent the interests of their constituencies—residents, tourists, and local hotels and restaurants. Extending its services for customers, the Jolly Trolley initiated an agreement with the PSTA which allows all Jolley Trolley passholders to ride the entire Pinellas County bus system with the new interchangeable passes. For more information about the Jolley Trolley, please visit http://www.clearwaterjolleytrolley.com.
1. Daily, Lester. “Clearwater Tourism Statistics Promising.” Tbnweekly.com. Tampa Bay Newspapers, 14 Nov. 2012. Web. 02 Oct. 2013. tbnweekly.com/pubs/clearwater_beacon/content_articles/111412_clw-01.txt.