As usual, Captain Jane, our fearless roving reporter, has done a wonderful job! This time, she lays bare all the mysteries surrounding Fort Lauderdale’s “Sun Trolley.” This city service can be a real boon for crusiers, particulary if you are docked at the Las Olas city marina. However, to take advantage of this service, you will need the keys to the kingdom described so ably below!
Now we know why all the information we got from marinas, hotels and the Internet was conflicting about the still wonderful but sadly diminished Sun Trolley system in Fort Lauderdale. Even the guy at the Fort Lauderdale Welcome wagon, in his trolley-like hut, didn’t have it exactly right.
So here is the scoop direct from the mouths of two trolley drivers, one of whom tore down the out of date sign as we began asking about the daily schedule and free Fridays it heralded.
Yes, the Sun Trolley exists and we rode the one you see to the right to a huge shopping center with just about anything you could need for provisioning, starting with a huge Publix supermarket.
The trolley seems to run every half hour. The return trolley stop at the shopping center is at Publix.
Myth: The Sun Trolley is free on Friday.
Fact: Every ride costs 50 cents; you can pay for two with a paper dollar and conserve those laundry machine quarters. There are no free days any more.
Myth: The Sun Trolley runs every day.
Fact: The Sun Trolley runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. 10 AM to 10 PM for the 17th street bridge route that goes from near the Las Olas Marina across the 17th Street Bridge to the shopping center with the Publix.
Fridays, the Las Olas route to downtown theaters, restaurants, the art museum: 6 PM to midnight. Saturday and Sunday the Las Olas route is 10
AM to midnight.
Myth: you can hail the trolley anywhere by waving.
Fact: The driver said if she happens to see you and you wave, she will stop. However, she promises to stop if you wave and are at a bus stop.
The bus stops are along A1A and Seabreeze Boulevard. For example, there is a stop at the Hall of Fame Marina, right in front of the Aquatic Center.
Fact without a Myth: This is a fantastic public service. Please take advantage of it — it’s a use it or lose it kind of amenity and we saw signs for public meetings in February and March to discuss how to keep the Sun Trolley viable.
S/V Lady Jane
Fact: The Sun Trolley IS free on Friday. We rode to Publix on a Friday and the driver told us every Friday is free.
Sun Trolley is 50 cents on both the A1A and Las Olas routes every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Passengers are a mix of residents and visitors to Fort Lauderdale Beach. The agency plans to expand the A1A route from Harbor Shops to the Galleria Mall on Sunrise Blvd. by October 1, 2010. Sun Trolley is the community bus service for the City of Fort Lauderdale and is managed by the Downtown Fort Lauderdale TMA, a nonprofit agency incorporated in 1992.
Patricia, submitted 9/9/2010