Trolley yourself across towns

Trolley yourself across towns

Seniors Angelique and Simon Birky-Hartmann patiently wait for the inter-urban trolley to arrive and carry them home.  Photo by Angelica Lehman.

Seniors Angelique and Simon Birky-Hartmann patiently wait for the Interurban Trolley to arrive and carry them home. Photo by Angelica Lehman.

Goshen College students have a reputation of being avid bikers. But what happens when biking isn’t possible? What if it’s raining, or you need to transport bags of groceries? What do you do if you don’t have a car?
The Elkhart-Goshen Interurban Trolley is one solution, and can now take you even further than Goshen or Elkhart.

According to the Interurban Trolley website, “The Trolley provides easy, affordable public transit along the corridors connecting Elkhart and Goshen and major points in between these two cities.”

The trolley stops right by campus on College Ave. in between 8th and 9th streets, and travels on U.S. 33, stopping along the way at Meijer, Walmart, Concord Mall and more. No matter where you get on or off, a ride on the trolley only costs $1.

The trolley used to ends it’s route at the Elkhart Civic Plaza. This week, however, the trolley began stopping at Martin’s Supermarket on Bittersweet Road, west of Osceola, where riders can get onto a “Transpo” bus that can take them to South Bend, including stops at the University Park Mall  and the South Bend Regional Airport.

Angelique and Simon Birky-Hartmann live in downtown Goshen and ride the Interurban Trolley to and from the college every school day, but they often use it even more.

“I really have no complaints about it,” Simon said. “It’s sad that Goshen College isn’t [encouraging] students to use the trolley.”

“They don’t attract as many people as they should,” he said. He thinks a lot of it has to do with a lack of advertising, so not many people know how it works. He also said that if it stopped every five minutes at each stop, more people might be likely to use it. A trolley stops at any given stop every 30 minutes.

Simon and Angelique have no problems with the trolley itself, though.
“It’s really clean,” Angelique said. “They even have a trash bag behind the driver’s seat so [passengers] don’t use the rest of the trolley for trash.”
She also added that the drivers are always very friendly and that she feels safe on the Interurban Trolley.

The trolley doesn’t run on Sundays or major holidays, and it operates between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays and 5:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

For more details on exactly when and where the trolley stops, visit http://www.interurbantrolley.com.

Written by Marlys Weaver

Marlys E. Weaver is a senior journalism major and editor-in-chief of The Record. She grew up living and working on a Guernsey farm and has worked at Maple City Market as a sales staff member and newsletter editor, and on an organic coffee farm in Peru, giving her a well-rounded interest in food and agriculture. She has also reported for "The Farmers' Exchange," "The Elkhart Truth," "The South Bend Tribune," and collaborated on a story on msnbc.com.

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