Third trolley returns

All three historic trolleys have returned to Galveston from repairs at Gomaco Trolley Co. and are undergoing testing before accepting passengers.

GALVESTON

Three colorful trolleys were rolling across the island last week as the city conducted testing of the newly restored cars in hopes of accepting passengers this summer.

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; keri.heath@galvnews.com or on Twitter @HeathKeri.

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(15) comments

Bailey Jones

Looking forward to the route down 25th opening up again. There's no better way to travel downtown or to the beach - no parking or traffic hassles.

George Laiacona

The trolley idea is very good for our island. The trolley system in New Orleans was very nice. Our island is a better place because of them

Mark Stevens

Let's see. Five tons. Cannot stop quickly. Public roads with lots of tourists and their kids about. Whose idea was this, anyway? Most trains need a name, like the cannonball express or the City of New Orleans. Why not go ahead an name this one the "Anna Karennina" ???

Brent Broussard

Mark must be fun at parties

David Schuler

So glad to see they are back! [smile]

Norman Pappous

I tried mightily to get Galveston taxpayers out of the trolley business. The previous trolley ended up costing taxpayers $20 for every $2 of revenue. If it is such a boon to Galveston business, let them pay for it.

This is just another example of how Galveston taxpayers subsidize inefficient operations for a select few - thing is.... it's ALWAYS the same select few.

Don Schlessinger

[thumbup]

Carlos Ponce

"damaged during Hurricane Ike in 2008" And when the next hurricane damages the refurbished trolley .........

Charlotte O'rourke

While I like the historical look of the trolley, I don’t like the expense especially in a town that has so much deferred maintenance.

This is an item that could be paid for from HOT tax.

If tourism wants the trolley for transportation, why not use HOT funds and not funds from the general fund that reduces funds available for street maintenance?

Bailey Jones

This seems like a reasonable idea. I certainly wouldn't mind part of the HOT I pay going to support the trolleys.

Don Schlessinger

[thumbup]

Charlotte O'rourke

Bailey, I think we need to understand where the rail trolley revenues are coming from. In other words is any of the property tax funds or sales tax funds covering costs or is the revenue in the transportation fund coming from grants or cdbg funds.

I’m really not sure at this point and would need to look at the city budget. I’m just opposed to funds and taxes that could be used for maintenance and infrastructure going to the rail trolley project if other sources like hot tax could be used.

Bailey Jones

Yes, it would be good to know who pays for them. In a 2017 GCDN story about the renovations, it says:

"The contract totals nearly $3.8 million, about $1.26 million per car... Around $1.6 million will be covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The rest will come from insurance and convention center surplus funds, or money left over from local hotel taxes after allocations have been made to other city groups that use the funds."

From the park board's 2021 Legislative Agenda -

"Tourism is the lifeblood for the City of Galveston economy, significantly impacting business sales,

employment, and tax revenue. The Galveston Park Board of Trustees receives the most significant share

of HOT revenues that are used for advertising and promotional programs, cleaning and maintaining

beaches, and lifeguard services on the Island’s beaches. The City receives “trickle down” funds, an

amount that reverts to the City after key distributions are made to the Park Board, convention center

bond debt service, and convention center operations. City HOT revenues support rail trolley and rubber

wheeled trolley operations that transport visitors between The Strand District area and beaches,

restaurants and hotels along the Seawall."

Don Schlessinger

"Tourism is the lifeblood for the City of Galveston economy, significantly impacting business sales, employment, and tax revenue." Interesting, I would think our CITIZENS would be the lifeblood of the City of Galveston

Charlotte O'rourke

Good find. The article sounds like the majority of funds used for repair was HOT. If the operational costs are also paid through funds other than property or sales taxes, I say, clang, clang went the trolley ....

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