Friday marks the end of Fresno's Downtown Trolley service

FRESNO, Calif.

Many of you have ridden the familiar green Trolley while serving jury duty. The Downtown Trolley is the latest victim of the city's budget woes.

Every day during the week jurors board the Downtown Trolley at Chukchansi Park to go to the courthouse. The Trolley provides an important service for people who don't know their way around Downtown. But on Friday the Trolley route will be eliminated.

"Is it going to be an inconvenience when it stops running? Yes, especially with the heat," said Armita Nichols. "It actually stops a couple of blocks down here so if I needed to go to my car it's actually closer than having to walk."

Nichols works in the /*Fresno County*/ Plaza building. The Trolley makes a regular loop through Downtown Fresno beginning at 6:30 in the morning. Several people who work Downtown use the Chukchansi parking lot and ride the Trolley to the office.

Susie Federline said, "Mostly from co-workers I've heard they're not looking forward to walking in the rain in the winter time."

But the city of Fresno's Director of Transportation, /*Ken Hamm*/ says very few Downtown workers actually use the free shuttle.

Hamm said, "I would say probably 95% of the riders, if not a higher number were people going to the court system."

Starting next week, jurors will need to park in /*Downtown Fresno*/ parking structures.

Hamm says his department was reimbursed through the city's parking fund, $159 thousand a year to run the Downtown Trolley.

Hamm explained, "Of course the parking fund has struggled as you may know and as have many other things with the city with the current economy so it was important to direct those resources maintaining the parking facilities."

Hamm still would like to see some kind of circulator Downtown, one which includes /*Community Regional Medical Center*/ and the /*Tower District*/.

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