This 2019 photo shows the free trolley in Edmonds taking visitors through downtown and to the waterfront. (Edmonds Downtown Alliance)

This 2019 photo shows the free trolley in Edmonds taking visitors through downtown and to the waterfront. (Edmonds Downtown Alliance)

Edmonds tries to find vintage trolley for free summer rides

The 2020 budget has $50,000 to buy a trolley, but finding the right one hasn’t been easy.

EDMONDS — Buying a vintage trolley is proving difficult for the city of Edmonds.

The 2020 budget includes up to $50,000 to pay for a trolley so the city can continue to offer free rides during the summer and winter to downtown. The problem — hardly anyone’s selling them.

“There’s a limited number, even nationally, of the kind of trolley we think makes sense to invest in,” said Patrick Doherty, the city’s economic development director. “There are a lot of trolleys that are essentially busses that are decorated, but that’s not really the sort of experience that we’re looking for. People really love the sort-of semi-open nature, something where they can wave to people going by and has the bell.”

Some available trolleys are old and costly to maintain, he said. Others don’t have the “vintage feel.”

The tentative plan is to run the trolley from Mother’s Day through October and during the winter holidays. It’s unclear how many days per week it’ll operate and what the route will be.

Across the state, trolley companies operate on similar schedules in San Juan Island, Gig Harbor and Yakima.

Opening by May is possible, but “we’re not going to do anything hasty,” Doherty said.

“The point of the matter is we want it to be a fun and novel experience that brings people out and makes it another reason to go to downtown Edmonds,” he said. “It’s like a candy bar, you don’t want one every hour of every day.”

City leaders are “pretty committed” to keeping the tab below the allotted $50,000, Doherty said. If needed, a budget amendment could give more dollars to the project.

As the city searches for a trolley to buy, local businesses are feeling the impact of the coronavirus.

While some may view it as an unneeded expense, Doherty says the trolley will “jump start” the business community once the outbreak is over.

The Edmonds Downtown Alliance is contributing $2,000 toward the purchase and pledged up to $11,000 in sponsorships from local businesses.

In recent years, the downtown business organization has coordinated the winter trolley rides.

The group contracted with the Friday Harbor Jolly Trolley in December after the private company in Seattle that previously supplied the holiday service closed.

That isn’t an option during the summer, when the fleet on San Juan Island is in full swing, Doherty said.

Currently, the city is looking at a few options, but there’s no deal in sight, he said.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Crews will reduce lanes and eventually close northbound Interstate 5 between Everett and Marysville this week to work on a bridge overpass girder. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Overnight lane closures, I-5 detour set between Everett, Marysville

Crews need to replace a girder on the 12th Street NE bridge that was damaged by an overheight load in September 2021.

Mike Rosen
Businessman Mike Rosen announces campaign for mayor of Edmonds

Rosen, a city planning board member, is backed by five former Edmonds mayors. It’s unclear if incumbent Mike Nelson will run again.

FILE - A Boeing 747-8, Boeing's new passenger plane, takes its first flight, Sunday, March 20, 2011, at Paine Field in Everett, Wash. After more than half a century, Boeing is rolling its last 747 out of a Washington state factory on Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Boeing’s last 747 to roll off the Everett assembly line

The Queen of the Skies was dethroned by smaller, more fuel-efficient jets. The last 747s were built for a cargo carrier.

PUD workers install new transformers along 132nd Street on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022 in Mill Creek, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Electric vehicles spur big forecast jump for PUD demand

Not long ago, the Snohomish County PUD projected 50,000 electric cars registered in the county by 2040. Now it expects up to 660,000.

Traffic moves northbound on I-5 through Everett on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Grinding work still needed for I-5 through Everett

Construction crews need warmer temps for the work to remove what a reader described as “mini raised speed bumps.”

After a day of learning to fight fires, Snohomish firefighter recruit Chau Nguyen flakes a hose as other recruits load the hoses onto a fire truck April 19, 2018, at the training facility on S. Machias Rd. in Snohomish. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)
Lawsuit: Everett firefighter sexually harassed numerous recruits

Chau Nguyen resigned earlier this year, long after the first complaint about his behavior at the county’s fire training academy.

People work on the roof of the Stilly Valley Senior Center on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Seniors evacuated from Stilly Valley Center housing due to roof damage

Residents said water damage issues began years ago. Mid-winter repairs forced them into hotels.

FILE - In this photo taken Oct. 2, 2018, semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop in Lynnwood, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee is joining state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to propose limits to magazine capacity and a ban on the sale of assault weapons. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Trade in an unloaded gun for a loaded gift card in Mukilteo, Everett

Mukiteo’s Gun Buyback is Saturday. Everett has $25,000 to give out at its exchange Dec. 17.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Sauk-Suiattle Tribe alleges state unfairly charges online sales tax

Tribal members on the reservation are charged state taxes despite a federal exemption. The tribe says it’s a sovereignty issue.

Most Read