Visitors and residents will soon be able to hop on a trolley to get around downtown Greensboro.
Trolleys were last seen on Greensboro city streets during the first half of the 20th century. Now, thanks to an initiative sparked by the city’s participatory budgeting process, four trackless trolley vehicles will offer free rides along the Elm Street corridor, connecting visitors with major attractions such as the Tanger Center and Center City Park.
Kevin Elwood is a spokesperson for the Greensboro Transit Agency. He says the refurbished diesel-powered buses will mimic the classic, rubber-tired trolleys that traveled through the Gate City over a century ago.
"We’re looking to bring back the nostalgia of the original trolleys in a downtown area," says Elwood. "So the units will receive a vinyl wrap that will make it look like a trolley and we're extra-refurbishing the inside so that (visitors) have a fresh experience when they ride our trolleys."
Those refurbishments include transit maps from the 1940s and trolley bell sounds to announce arrivals at stops.
In addition to the first $90,000 of funding approved by city residents, $1 million in American Rescue Plan funds are supporting the project. The city is also inviting the public to name the trolley service.
The trolleys are expected to be up and running in July.