In July, the Greensboro Transit Agency (GTA) expects to start trolley service in downtown Greensboro.

Running free trolley-type buses up and down Elm Street is not cheap. In 2019, those taking part in Participatory Budgeting voted to spend $90,000 for downtown trolleys.  Participatory Budgeting was originally designed to spend $100,000 in each of the five City Council districts.  However, it was decided that citywide projects could also be approved.

In this case the $90,000 from the Participatory Budgeting pot of funds wasn’t enough to cover even 10 percent of the proposed trolley project.  The City Council voted to spend $1 million in general fund money freed up by American Rescue Plan funds to create a downtown trolley system.

According to the City of Greensboro press release, “The trolley route will support economic activities on Elm Street while connecting downtown visitors with a growing number of merchants and entertainment venues seven days a week. It will run from mornings to as late as midnight.”

The GTA will operate four refurbished diesel buses painted to look like the rubber-tired trolleys from the 20th century. Along with being painted to look like trolley’s the diesel buses will also have “trolley-bell sounds” and the interiors of the buses will be decorated with transit maps from the 1940s.

The trolley buses will offer free service and are scheduled to arrive at each stop with a frequency of between five and seven minutes, so if you miss one you shouldn’t have to wait long for the next one to come along.

Trolley stops will include Union Square, the Tanger Center, Center City Park and LoFi Park.

The route is planned to connect with several existing GTA routes for a greater city-wide reach for public transportation.