Trolley route issue rolls back around
The trolley issue is rolling around again.
The Port Aransas City Council will hold a public hearing today, Thursday, March 19, on the possibility of removing some little-used stops on the trolley route around town to shorten the wait at other stops.
A city-conducted count Jan. 8 to Jan. 31 showed only 23 riders using the stop at Gulf Waters RV Resort, 16 at Sandcastle Drive, 28 at the south jetty and 22 at the airport.
The meeting will include a public hearing on whether to remove the airport, Sandcastle and jetty stops, said Michael Kovacs, city manager of Port Aransas.
The Gulf Waters stop won't be part of the public hearing, but it might be discussed and could end up being eliminated, Kovacs said.
The council voted last year to remove the Gulf Waters stop from the route. In February, the council moved to allow city staff to reduce the number of stops made at Gulf Waters each day, rather than eliminating the stop completely.
Previously, the trolley stopped at Gulf Waters hourly. The trolley then began a schedule of stopping there at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. But if no one is there at 2 p.m., the trolley doesn't go back at 4 p.m.
But Gulf Waters continues to produce few riders, Kovacs said. In addition, it's possible that the altered hours at the stop could be confusing to riders and make people less likely to want to use the service, Kovacs said.
Also as part of today's meeting, the council:
• Might award a bid for construction of street overlays involved in the $4.9 million bond program that was approved by voters in November.
• Is expected to discuss whether to apply for stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services program. The federal money would pay for three years worth of salaries and benefits for four officers who could be added to the ranks of the Port Aransas Police Department.
• Will consider reconfiguration of commercial boat dock spaces in the southwest portion of Dennis Dreyer Municipal Harbor.
• Discuss traffic concerns about Sandcastle Drive.