City Looks to Offset Costs of Downtown Salisbury Trolley - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

City Looks to Offset Costs of Downtown Salisbury Trolley

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SALISBURY, Md. - After a successful first semester, the trolley service that brings Salisbury University students from campus to downtown Salisbury will return in late January.  However, it will cost the city an additional $21,000.  Moving forward, city leaders will explore ways of lowering that cost while keeping the service growing in popularity.

Owners at "Echelon" in downtown Salisbury said their business has been great since opening about four and a half month ago, but things get busy on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights when the trolley rolls through downtown.

"You absolutely notice a difference.  You really don't notice it until about 10:30 or 11 at night where you can actually see the trolley going by with all the kids on it and you see them piling out," said co-owner, John Robinson.

Students have been using the trolley service since late-August and city leaders said the number of riders continues to grow.

"One of the things that we've seen is double ridership from August to September, doubled from September to October and doubled from October to November," said Salisbury City Council President, Jake Day.

Day said city leaders estimate that through one semester, the trolley service carrying students contributed to about $100,000 in economic impact in downtown Salisbury.  So, the service is returning in late January but required an additional $21,000 in tax payer money.  Moving forward, Day said the city will explore the possibility of having local businesses advertise on the trolley to offset some of the costs.

"Giving a direct market like that to a specific audience, that's the way to go.  So, obviously, we would definitely be a part of that advertising," said Robinson.

City leaders also said they plan to look at other options for the trolley, like starting the service two hours earlier and adding a stop in the Camden neighborhood of Salisbury.

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