Siesta Key will get a trolley route just in time for summer.
Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) in July will begin running routes every half-hour through Siesta Key Village and to the main entrance to Siesta Key public beach, with service to Turtle Beach every hour, according to an email from SCAT senior planner Sarah Blanchard to SCAT Director Glama Carter. A county report had previously indicated the route wouldn't be operational until 2016.
A $1.08 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation will cover half of the service's costs for three years, according to an August staff presentation to Sarasota County commissioners. After the FDOT grant expires, SCAT can discontinue the route if ridership is insufficient, with no FDOT penalty.
The Siesta Key Village Association had pushed for the route to alleviate traffic problems and bring more visitors to the island.