Trolleys Served Over 1,900 Riders In 9 Days: Havre de Grace

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HAVRE DE GRACE, MD — The Havre de Grace trolley, known as "The Tide," has been rolling along since late May. This week, the city released statistics on its use.

Havre de Grace has four electric trolleys that run on weekends and during special events from Tydings Park to the Lock House and back. The loop is about 3.5 miles and takes 25 minutes to complete.

Here is the data on the trolley usage so far, according to the city of Havre de Grace:

  • June 1–June 13: Ran six days; had 1,476 riders; operated 90 hours; traveled 810 miles
  • May: Ran three days; had 438 riders; operated 42 hours; traveled 351.5 miles

This past weekend alone, the trolley ran for three days, carried 550 riders and traveled 407 miles over 42 operating hours.

"Right now, it's about 50-50 between tourists who are getting on — and they love it; they're really getting a great picture of the whole city," Havre de Grace Main Street Manager Julia Ruhnke said at the Havre de Grace Tourism Advisory Board meeting on Wednesday morning in City Hall. "The other half, of course, is locals who are doing it just because they want to check it out."

She said she was one of those scoping out the new service.

"Most people are just doing a loop," Ruhnke said, based on her observation of the locals. "They're just checking it out like it's a Disney ride."

Riders can take the trolley for free.

"It's still in its test phase," said Bambi Johnson, chief of parks, events and recreation for the city. "They're still making adjustments to the route."

Already, organizers have decided to drop a stop behind the American Legion because it was not being used, she said. Once the route is more final, there will be digital maps and QR codes as well as a system to see where the trolleys are on the route.

The trolley is pet friendly, Johnson noted. While she was at the luau this past weekend at Concord Point Park, she said she saw a great Dane whose ears were sticking up above the seat while passing by.

Once the pilot program has run its course, the city may charge a "nominal fee" that is about $1 a ride, to offset the salary for the drivers, Johnson said, adding that would likely not happen until after the summer and possibly not until 2023.

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