Push for trolley loop in Cedar Rapids continues

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 5:28 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - City leaders are one step closer to bringing a trolley system to Cedar Rapids.

Monica Vernon and the Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District, or SSMID, has been pushing for a trolley route that would connect four local neighborhoods since 2014.

It would go through downtown, New Bohemia, Czech Village, and Kingston Village.

“Which seems probably like nothing from the moon. But on a cold or hot day in Iowa, people might want to get on public transit,” she told TV-9.

She says the main difference between the bus system and this potential new trolley system would be that this is just for the downtown and surrounding areas. It would also run from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The only thing left to figure out would be the cost.

“We see this as a good opportunity for some of the Federal Transportation dollars,” said Vernon.

The main group she aims to target with this idea are tourists. But local consumers and business owners have expressed their support for the idea as well.

“I think it would be great for business. Anything that would bring people to the Czech community, to bring them shopping, eating, drinking, anything that brings people is a good thing,” said Red Frog Manager, Jon Bond.

As they’ve seen many of these neighborhoods grow immensely over the past 15 to 20 years, many feel the trolley loop would only further that growth.

“They’ve done a lot more to try to bring it up, bring more variety, more shopping, more restaurants. Just more things that complement each other and give it a different atmosphere,” said Bond.

As inflation impacts the cost of most everything, it’s made it difficult to complete the proposal. But Vernon says she would like to see it approved by next summer.

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