If you missed the first weekend of the Riverside Avondale Night (RAN) Trolley, you’ll have another chance to ride this coming Friday and Saturday!
Haven’t heard of the RAN trolley? It features stops throughout the Riverside Avondale neighborhood’s residential and commercial districts from 5 Points to the Shoppes of Avondale and beyond. It’s a six month demonstration program where strong ridership numbers are necessary to expand the program. The trolley is easy to ride and accessible within the neighborhood and one of the coolest things about this program is the mobile site, where you can track the trolley in real time.
I was one of more than 900 riders who experienced the first weekend and here’s a recap of my experience in January:
Saturday evening my friends and I met at the trolley stop, which was a hop, skip, and a jump away from our apartments. Since it was a cold night, we used the mobile tracking site to stay inside and keep warm, then ran out as soon as the trolley was close.
It took 10 to 15 minutes to ride the trolley from 5 Points to Avondale for dinner. Our ride started with about three rows of riders, but by the time we arrived at our stop, it was standing room only. It was so busy, I thought at one point the driver wasn’t going to allow others on.
As dinner was winding down, I began to track the trolley via the mobile site and learned we had just missed a trolley. But no problem – we waited maybe 10 more minutes before the next trolley arrived. We quickly signed checks and ran out the door to catch the trolley for our next destination, Intuition Ale Works. When Intuition closed, I pulled up the trolley mobile site to see when the next one would arrive. The wait was a little bit longer this time because only one of the three trolleys ran after midnight.
From start to finish the whole evening was energizing. Everyone on the trolley was laughing, smiling and having a great time – it was infectious. What struck me was how many folks came together in support our neighborhood and city.
This weekend, February 7 and 8 from 6 p.m. – 2 a.m., make sure you and your friends give the RAN Trolley a try. By riding it, you’re supporting your community and showing interest in improved public transportation for urban neighborhoods.