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Charlottesville Area Transit Rolls Out New Trolleys - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville Area Transit Rolls Out New Trolleys

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Some of Charlottesville Area Transit's fleet is getting a new look this week. Starting Monday, three new trolleys are rolling through downtown and University of Virginia’s central grounds.

The new additions replace older buses and will offer ergonomically-fitted seats, as well as better equipped ramps for passengers with mobility issues.

Improvements designers say needed to be made.

“These have flip out ramps rather than hydraulic lifting ramps like the old trolleys had, so there's fewer parts to fail on these and they're easier to operate for a driver and easier for passengers to board on and off if they are in a wheelchair,” said Westley Kern, of Charlottesville Area Transit.

Passengers can catch a ride on these new trolleys on the Free Trolley Route all day, every day.

Charlottesville Area Transit Press Release

Starting this week, passengers will see new trolleys gracing the Downtown Mall and UVA's Central Grounds. Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) has introduced three new trolleys to the fleet. The trolleys which were purchased as replacement vehicles will provide safe, reliable service to area residents, visitors, and students. All three trolleys will operate on the Free Trolley Route giving free rides all day, every day.

While the trolleys may look vastly different from other CAT buses, the differences are only skin deep. Each new trolley is a GILLIG (manufacturer) bus in disguise. The cupola, wood trim, and paint schemes are tasteful additions to create the trolley look. The chassis, engine, transmission, A/C unit, passenger seats, and flooring are identical to over 75% of buses in CAT's fleet. The similarities will reduce the need to stock additional inventory and allow for faster turn-around times when the buses are off the road for regular maintenance - a cost savings without reducing quality.

Those who see the trolleys firsthand will notice the redesigned graphics. The new graphics were hand-sketched to reflect a classic look and then digitally converted. To keep the Charlottesville feel, Dogwood flowers stencils were included above each window.

Passenger will also notice that the new seats are ergonomically fitted which will result in added comfort when traveling. For passengers with mobility issues, each trolley is equipped with an ADA ramp and two four point tie-down securement system allowing operators to carry up to two wheelchairs at a time.

The new trolleys are a welcomed addition to the fleet and should provide years of dependable service.

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