Amherst Downtown Trolley returns this weekend

By Elizabeth Kane

Vancouver Trolley (Courtesy of Dennis Tsang/Flickr)
Vancouver Trolley (Courtesy of Dennis Tsang/Flickr)

The Amherst Downtown Trolley program is set to return this weekend after a successful run last semester.

Put on by the Amherst Business Improvement District, the program offers Amherst residents and University of Massachusetts students a free and easy way to explore the downtown area.

Sarah la Cour, executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District, said the goal of the trolley program is to encourage residents and students to take part in the many services and events that are held in downtown Amherst.

“We run shuttle services for major events like the Taste of Amherst and Amherst Crafts on the Common,” la Cour said. “We’re trying to get a lot more community involvement with it.”

In addition to the Amherst community, the trolley program is reaching out to students through a separate program called the “dorm to downtown” UMass shuttle.

The shuttle will run on weekends and make various stops around campus, providing students with convenient transportation, according to la Cour. In total, she said that there are nine trolley stops, including six on campus.

“We stop at Franklin Dining Commons, Southwest and Orchard Hill, just to name a few,” la Cour said. “This is mainly for the students on the weekends, but there are other special events like Family Weekend where we’ll actually run from Haigis Mall instead of the dorm shuttle.”

Students and Amherst residents can ride the trolley this Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 12 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m.

La Cour said she hopes that the reintroduction of the trolley program will provide riders with a fun and alternative way to explore the town.

“Our theory is that (the trolley) is a fun, old-fashioned way to travel,” la Cour said. “Kids love it, students love it and it is a cool way to see the downtown area.”

Elizabeth Kane can be reached at [email protected]