Trolley hits the streets

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 4, 2008

NATCHEZ — For a while, the jolly ringing of the city’s trolley filled downtown streets.

And then it stopped.

Executive Director of Adult Services and Public Transportation Sabrena Bartley said it stopped mostly because of a lack of interest.

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“No one was riding. We were running every day and all downtown and no one was getting on,” Bartley said. “I don’t know why, but they weren’t.”

The idea behind it was not only to offer it as a fun ride for tourists, but for locals as well.

“The idea was, people who were downtown and working could hop on and go to the next block or so and get lunch without moving their cars,” she said.

But because of low turnout for the trolley, its service was pulled. Also, high gas prices played a large factor, Bartley said.

“Then the gas spiked on us and that diesel is really something,” she said.

With Pilgrimage rolling, Bartley said it was time for the trolley to do so as well.

Beginning Oct. 6, the trolley will hit the streets once more.

“Always we try to do things during Pilgrimage times,” she said. “We really want people to utilize it.”

And if that’s not the case, the trolley will be pulled again.

“We really want people to utilize it so we can justify it being out there,” she said.

And Bartley said she hopes it does well the second time around so it can remain in use.

“We’re going to try one more time,” she said. “I just believe that with Natchez going in the direction that it is in, if we put the service out there that it will only be a boost to the economy in Natchez and also it will make the visitors feel more welcome when they come here.

“It’s good old Southern Hospitality.”

The 45-minute route includes stops at the visitors center, Under-the-Hill, the Isle of Capri Casino and the bluff park gazebo as well as all major downtown streets.

The trolley was refurbished and hit the streets in March after years of not being in service.