Trolleys will begin traveling on Siesta Key by mid-year, and new Key trolley routes could go into effect within two years.
SCAT is purchasing four trolley vehicles, similar to those that run on Longboat Key, to replace the city buses that serve Siesta Key.
The cost is $300,000 each, and the trolleys are expected to be delivered by summer.
Those new vehicles, though, will only travel the existing routes on the Key, which run from the Siesta Drive bridge to the Stickney Point Road bridge.
Thanks to a $1 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation, SCAT will be able to create a separate Siesta Key trolley system that extends service south to Turtle Beach.
SCAT General Manager Anthony Beckford said the new system could have 30-minute waits at each stop.
Although the grant money is not slated to be delivered until the 2014-15 fiscal year, Beckford is trying to get an advance to possibly have it in hand a year earlier.
Under negotiation now is whether the grant is a matching grant, which would mean that to collect the $1 million, the county would have to come up with a certain percentage of money itself for the project.
The FDOT grant can only be used for operational costs. If new trolleys need to be purchased, which
Beckford said is a possibility, that would have to come out of the county’s coffers.
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