Privately funded tourist trolley proposal falls short for this year
BERLIN — Officials with the Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland were hoping to inaugurate a tourist trolley on May 20 that would serve a route through Berlin, Ocean Pines and West Ocean this summer. But due to the economic climate, the project will be postponed until next year, Brad Bellacicco, deputy transit director for the Shore Transit Division of the council said Tuesday.
He said the buses that were to be used were only acquired a short time ago. “We were trying hard to make something happen on short notice,” he said.
Riggin Johnson, director of the council’s Shore Transit Division, said last Friday that the council agreed to buy two out-of-service Ocean City municipal buses and came up with the idea to convert and operate them as tourist trolleys.
Shore Transit, the area’s public transit agency, offers fixed route and origin to destination public transportation for Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties.
Unlike the familiar orange and white Shore Transit buses, the trolley system would have been geared toward tourism and would be privately funded. Annapolis has been operating a similar tourist trolley for the past six months, Johnson said.
The council had hoped, with the aid of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce and the county Economic Development Department, to raise $120,000 the project. But as of last week, it had only about half that.