Cape business owners look to make public transportation permanent

Author: Matt Dougherty

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Need a ride? Business owners in the south Cape area want more public transportation for their restaurants and bars.

They aren’t just talking about more cabs, they want a permanent weekend trolley for the Cape’s downtown so patrons would no longer have to barhop by car or on foot.

Wednesday night a trolley shuttled New Year’s Eve partiers up and down the streets.

Historically, the trolley’s only been used for special events. But now many restaurants and bars are trying to make it a permanent fixture.

“It makes all the sense in the world because you can keep people off the streets and it’s good for businesses because they can get on a trolley and go to five different places,” said Nevermind’s owner Shannon Yates.

Business owners like Yates are excited the trolley plan is finally growing wings. Instead of keeping patrons in the area for only a few drinks, businesses are hoping it’ll be possible to make them want to spend their entire evenings here.

From February to May, the trolley idea will be put to the test.

On Friday and Saturday nights, from 7 p.m.-midnight, trolleys will be on hand to shuttle patrons throughout bars and restaurants.

Trolley riders will get a wristband for $2, allowing them to jump on and off the trolleys wherever they please.

With extended weekend hours for the downtown Cape’s restaurants and bars still on the horizon, the trolleys are not just good for business, but also for safety.

“It’s kind of facilitating in advance public safety, and that’s the biggest issue with the extension of hours,” said Yates.

The Cape Redevelopment Association will discuss the trolley plan in its meeting next Tuesday. Also to be discussed is the potential for designated taxi stands in south Cape Coral.

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