The SCAT bus system is again attempting to create a Siesta Key trolley service.
It received unanimous support from the County Commission to request Florida Department of Transportation funding for the trolley.
Sarah Blanchard, SCAT senior planner, said the total cost for a three-year rollout of the service would be $1.99 million. FDOT is being asked to pay half of that cost, but after three years, the county would have to pay the entire cost.
SCAT would likely eliminate under-performing routes to come up with the money for the Siesta Key trolley.
The county tried to institute a Siesta Key trolley service in May 2008, but FDOT would not fund its early-morning start, 30-minute frequency and seven-day-a-week schedule.
SCAT wanted to scale back the frequency to 60-minute intervals in June 2009, but county commissioners felt that would be too much time between buses, and it asked for the 30-minute service.
To get the 30-minute intervals this time, SCAT is doing some creative scheduling by combining the trolley with the Route 11 bus, which serves Siesta Key.
Route 11 will pass through the Key every hour, and the trolley will do the same, but they’ll be timed so each bus stop gets service every half-hour.
SCAT will also use a trolley vehicle on Route 11, so all passengers on the Key will ride a trolley.
The trolley’s route will go from Westfield Southgate Mall, down Siesta Drive to the Key, through the Village, down Midnight Pass Road to Turtle Beach, back up to Stickney Point Road and into Gulf Gate.
Because Route 11 does not go down to Turtle Beach, the frequency of buses there would be every 60 minutes.
The trolley service would begin sometime between 9 and 11 a.m. and conclude at 11 p.m.
Contact Robin Roy at [email protected]