No Naples Trolley in 2008/2009 :-(
It's a shame that current financial woes are taking away from Naples charm -- I hope they start thinking about next year rather than simply worrying about this year.
Naples City Council on Wednesday rejected a second bid for a downtown trolley service. That decision comes two weeks after council told staff to rebid the project.
Though the new bid — submitted by Naples Transportation and Tours, LLC. — allowed for advertising to offset the cost of the trolley, council members said the cost was just too much this year.
Naples Transportation said it would cost $31,668 to run the trolley on Fridays and Saturdays through Fifth Avenue South, Bayfront, Tin City and Third Street South for 17 weeks. That price, according to a memo to council, included a guarantee of $7,500 in advertising revenue to offset the cost.
Not all of that money would’ve come from the Community Redevelopment Agency’s budget, though. The city would have paid $11,400 for the trolley, with the remainder of the funding coming from the Community Redevelopment Agency.
“I don’t think I can afford to do this in a season where I’m pinching every penny,” said Councilman Gary Price.
The cost of the project was among the reasons why council opted to reject the first bid.
Council, sitting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, on Dec. 1 rejected a proposal for service by Dolphin Transportation because of the cost.
Dolphin Transportation’s proposal for the same route would have cost $28,560, but did not allow for revenue offset.
The trolley service ran for 10 weeks in 2008. When it began, the trolley ran up and down Fifth Avenue South, but later expanded to include Third Street South, Tin City and Bayfront.
Third Street South representatives this year told council they did not want the trolley on their street.
Ridership peaked at slightly more than 600 people a weekend when the city stopped the trolley service in March.
The city never hit the 300-person mark when the trolley exclusively went up and down Fifth Avenue South, according to a March memo to council.