Regular trolley service in Del Ray will begin in September or October at the earliest, according to Alexandria’s director of Transportation and Environmental Services.
T&ES chief Rich Baier told Del Ray Patch that despite the city allocating more than $500,000 in the fiscal year 2012 budget toward implementing the motorized trolley service in the neighborhood, the process of selecting a contractor and other matters will push the project into the fall.
T&ES Deputy Director Abi Lerner said some of the approximately $510,000 that was allotted for expanding trolley service into Del Ray will be rolled over and combined with new funding in FY2013.
How much that is rolled over remains to be determined.
From the $510,000, about $190,000 will go toward further improving headways on the King Street Trolley.
The remaining $320,000 will be split.
Lerner said T&ES is looking into expanding the hours of the King Street Trolley, which currently runs from 11:30 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. from the King Street Metro station to the Potomac River waterfront.
Whatever money remains after expanding hours of the King Street line will be put in reserve for the trolley in Del Ray.
“The bids can come in higher [than expected],” Lerner said. “This money will be used as a cushion.”
There is a “new trolley pot” of $700,000 available in FY2013, which begins on July 1, 2012. Lerner said this pot, which comes from money the city sets aside for transportation projects, would be devoted to the Del Ray line.
The city will utilize a contractor to operate the Del Ray trolley with eyes on transferring duties to the Alexandria Transit Company at a later date.
Five new 30-foot hybrid trolleys will be rolled out in late April on the King Street line. ATC, which also runs the DASH bus service, will take over from Martz as the operator.
“In coordination with Earth Day, we’re going to roll out the new trolleys,” Baier said. “It’s pretty exciting and council is excited about the new trolleys and the expansion.” Earth Day celebrations for the city are scheduled for April 21.
The city is hosting an open house about Del Ray trolley service on March 28 at George Washington Middle School. The event begins at 6 p.m. and will include a discussion on preferred routing for the trolley, destinations, hours of service, headways and how to link the line with the King Street Trolley.
“What we’re trying to do, we’re trying to provide a link between Old Town and Del Ray and send it back and forth,” Baier said. “It’s also an economic development tool.”
Trolley service in Del Ray will be demonstrated on May 3 during the First Thursday street festival.