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CA: Monterey-Salinas Transit trolley service, free fare days to begin – Mass Transit Magazine


MONTEREY — As summer sets in, Monterey-Salinas Transit is ramping up its Fast, Fun and Free Trolley service for the city of Monterey.

Starting Saturday, the trolley will offer rides through Downtown Monterey, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium at no cost. The program will run through Labor Day, Sept. 5, operating daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Monterey-Salinas Transit free trolley will depart from the downtown Monterey parking garages at Tyler Street and Del Monte Avenue every 10 to 15 minutes. The full route can be viewed here.

“The Free MST Trolley is an important feature in Monterey during busy summer months,” said Hans Uslar, Monterey city manager. “Besides being a fun transportation alternative, it helps ease traffic congestion adding to resident and visitor experiences during the high season. This year, the city will continue to fund the free trolley with the hope that in future years Monterey’s businesses will consider contributing incrementally to the costs of this valuable service, which brings visitors and customers to their front doors.”

A longstanding summer service for local residents and visitors alike, the Trolley Shuttle Program is funded by a partnership between the city of Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

“This is our 30th year we’re coming together with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the city of Monterey to provide shuttle services,” said Carl Sedoryk , Monterey-Salinas Transit general manager/CEO. “It’s a great program. … The city is attempting to reduce parking demands and increase accessibility. And for the aquarium, (the trolley service) supports the health of the bay and greenhouse gas reduction. … It’s really a win-win for everyone.”

The city of Monterey funds about 79% of the costs of the trolley services — a total of $300,000 — while the Monterey Bay Aquarium covers the remaining 21%.

Typically, the free trolley service begins Memorial Day, which fell on May 30 this year, but due to continued economic challenges from the pandemic, services were delayed, Sedoryk explained.

“As we recover from COVID, the best the city and the aquarium could do was June 25 through Labor Day,” he added. “We’re happy to do that (and) hoping to do more as the economy recovers.”

Meanwhile, for the second year, Monterey-Salinas Transit is also set to begin offering fare free Sundays. From July 3 through Sept. 4, Monterey-Salinas Transit will provide free rides system wide on all Sundays, as well as holiday Mondays including the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

“We are pleased to offer fare-free days to our community and encourage residents and visitors to get out of their cars, onto an MST bus, and show a little kindness to our planet … and who doesn’t like free,” Sedoryk said in a press release.

Funding of the free fares is made possible by the California Cap and Trade’s Low Carbon Transit Operations Program. Established in 2014, the program was created by the state Legislature to provide operating and capital assistance for transit agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility, with a priority on serving disadvantaged communities.

For more information about Monterey-Salinas Transit’s Trolley Shuttle Program or free fare Sundays, go to www.mst.org/ or call 1-888-678-2871 toll-free.

©2022 MediaNews Group, Inc. Visit at montereyherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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