Transportation

Galveston’s Trolley Set To Return After Hurricane Ike Damage

The Galveston trolley has not been in service since Hurricane Ike struck the island in 2008.

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A Galveston Island Trolley on a run before Hurricane Ike.

 

The Galveston trolley carried visitors and residents on a seven-mile loop around the island, stopping at destinations like the Seawall, downtown, and UTMB. But damage from Hurricane Ike halted service, and officials have been debating whether to bring it back ever since.

The Galveston City Council recently decided to spend $4 million in funds from FEMA and insurance to restore the route. Spokeswoman Kala McCain says the council has also appointed an advisory committee to plot out the future of the trolley.

“To develop their business plan and to look at different ways of advertising and pulling in the trolley as an attraction, as a service to our community,” McCain says.

The spokeswoman says the committee will decide on a timeline for restarting the service.

“The track repair could be completed as early as 2016 and the full restoration of this trolley service could be complete as early as the summer of 2017,” McCain says.

The trolley was seeing declining ridership before the storm, but McCain says Galveston’s bus service has seen an uptick in riders. She believes that could extend to the trolley once it goes back into service.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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