The signs went up Tuesday and Corbin Downtown Directory Andy Salmons said the city’s trolley bus will begin running its regular route on Monday.
“That is going to give us enough time to get the last little pieces together,” Salmons said of the leadtime.
The trolley will initially be in service from noon until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
While initial plans had called for operating Thursday through Saturday, Salmons said he and City Manager Marlon Sams elected to set operations Monday through Friday because it would give it more exposure.
“We figured it was more comprehensive,” Salmons said. “It is a chance to roll it out more.”
The 14-mile route runs between Trademart Shopping Center and the hotels off of Exit 25.
Stops include: Trademark, the parking lot next to Forcht Bank on Master Street, the original KFC, Kentucky Street near Nibroc Park, Pizza & Company parking lot, Hometown Bank parking lot on Falls Hwy., Baptist Health Corbin near the main entrance, the Econo Lodge, Red Roof Inn, Best Western and Holiday Inn Express hotels, Corbin Tourism Center, Forest Hills Shopping Center, W.D. Bryant, First Street in downtown near The Depot on Main, and McBurney Manor on Master Street.
Salmons said the route will take approximately 48 minutes to complete.
Salmons said passengers will initially pay $1 for a day-pass that will permit them to ride it as many times as far as they would like.
Salmons said only one of the three drivers is currently certified to drive the trolley. A second driver is expected to be ready within a few weeks.
Salmons said he expects changes will be made to operating days and times to better match service to the community’s need.
In addition, the day-pass plan is a temporary pricing plan. Salmons said the idea is to have a fixed price-per-ride established that the market will bear, likely by June or July.
Salmons said at that point, a per trip price will be set based on the average number people of riding the trolley with the goal of the operation breaking even.
The daily cost to operate the trolley, including the wages and benefits to the drivers, is estimated at $160.
“Over the course of the next six months we plan on rolling out in the trolley advertising as well as, more robust ticketing system to offset the costs,” Salmons said. “The ultimate goal will be for the trolley program to move beyond the break-even point and begin generating revenue for the future growth of the program.”
Salmons said the evaluation process as to whether the trolley program is a good long-term use of tax dollars will begin from the first day.
“But I do believe that within a year to a year and a half we will have enough data throughout multiple seasons to determine if the trolley program is viable,” Salmons said. “We may make several changes to the program during that time to optimize its performance and ability to absorb expenses.”