The Cambria “Otter Trolley” will focus mostly on tourists, as of Friday, May 28, according to changes announced recently by Regional Transit Authority (RTA).
The changes include:
• The trolley will run daily from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, but will only offer rides on another 14 days from September through the end of May 2011. That’s 3.5 hours longer per day for the three-month run.
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When the other two weeks worth of service will be offered hasn’t been finalized, but likely would be during peak periods, such as Thanksgiving weekend, the December holidays and the Art and Wine Festival. Free trolley service for December’s Hospitality Night Service would continue.
• The trolley’s new half-hour route would be shorter by half, time-wise, and would cover Moonstone Beach Drive, West and East Village, the lodge and, via Highway 1, back to Moonstone. At least three times a day, the trolley also would go to
Hearst Castle, not currently on the vehicle’s route.
The current hour-long trolley path includes stops at Community Health Center and at the intersections of Ardath Drive and Green Street and Ardath and Burton drives, plus stops along northern Windsor Boulevard on Park Hill, to Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. Those stops would be discontinued.
• Fares would rise to $1 a trip (from 50 cents), except for castle runs, which are estimated to cost $2 one way or $3 round trip. That amount is to be finalized soon, according to Aimee Wyatt, RTA spokeswoman, who also said that day passes, packs of discounted tickets for motels and other special fare packages are in the works.
She also told members of the North Coast Advisory Council March 17 that the number of North Coast trolley riders has been declining and, now at six to seven passengers per hour, is below RTA averages and what similar systems experience. RTA’s goal for the route is averaging 13 riders per hour.
• Regular and occasional
local trolley riders — who total about two
dozen, Wyatt said — would have two options. They could ride the regular RTA bus or, through a special arrangement with the free Cambria Community Bus, they’d be able to call at least a day before the ride is needed and that vehicle would provide service from the Burton-Ardath trolley stop. The bus also might make a regularly scheduled stop Mondays through Thursdays at that stop, Wyatt said. Applications for Community Bus services will be available on the trolley.
For details and Cambria bus applications, e-mail Wyatt at
or call her at 788-2706.