Like Charleston, Offer Free Trolleys

Like Charleston, Offer Free Trolleys

Edition Of Thursday-Friday Sept. 25-26

To the Editor:

A modest proposal:

I recently happened to visit Charleston, S.C., which, like Cooperstown, is a noted tourist destination. And, like Cooperstown, or any similar tourist town, they have a parking problem. Charlestown, however, has done something which Cooperstown might consider, namely, establishing a free trolley service.

Being able to jump on and off a trolley making the circuit of the main local sites without having to dig into one’s pocket to pay was a real convenience. No fussing about exact change, etc. And surprisingly, being free was a real incentive, even though the money saved had to be minimal. It ran about every 20 minutes; there was a printed schedule at every trolley stop.

I don’t know how Charleston funds its trolley, but Cooperstown might do so by charging a small parking fee at the peripheral parking lots, maybe $5 for the day. If the trolley circuit was expanded to hit ALL the main spots in and around the village – the Clark Sports Center, Bassett Hospital, Fairy Springs, Main Street, Lake Street, The Otesaga, The Farmers’ Museum, The Fenimore Art Museum, the courthouse and County Office Building, Railroad Avenue, Chestnut Street, Price Chopper, etc. – it might prove even more useful than at present.

Locals would be more likely to take advantage of it, as well as visitors staying at The Otesaga or in village B&Bs who would not be using the peripheral lots.

Tourists would be happy to pay the parking fee if they knew that they had the use of a free trolley. And it could provide a real service for village residents living on or near the trolly routes.

Sustainable Otsego