Column: Take advantage of free trolley to get around town

New 'Trolley Tracker' can let riders know exactly where trolley is on its route

cycling classic
(Image provided by Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry)

On June 2 at 12 noon, the Explore Elmhurst Express Trolley will begin its 16-week summer program of providing free trolley rides to residents and visitors traveling between Elmhurst City Centre and the Spring Road and York and Vallette Business districts.

John Quigley

Each Friday and Saturday from 12 noon to 12 midnight, the trolley will connect those three business districts, with pickups and drop offs every 30 minutes at six street-signed locations, with convenient public parking available near each of the stops.

Starting in downtown Elmhurst at York Street and Park Avenue on the hour and half hour, the trolley will move in five-minute intervals to stops at York and Schiller streets, Second Street and Addison Avenue, Cottage Hill and Virginia Street (Wilder Park), Spring Road and the Illinois Prairie Path, and then York and Vallette.

New for this year is a GPS “Trolley Tracker,” linked to the Explore Elmhurst website, that will allow riders to find the trolley’s exact location along the route. Riders can also enter to win weekly prizes donation by Elmhurst businesses and organizations.

The trolley experience will feature a recorded narrative to educate riders about highlighted areas of our City and music from the world renowned Elmhurst College Jazz Band under the direction of 2013 ECCI Civic Hall of Fame inductee Doug Beach.

Each Saturday at 2:30 p.m., starting at the York and Park stop, the Elmhurst Public Library will stage its signature “Storytime” event.

Colored a bright yellow and green, the trolley is handicapped accessible and compliant with the American Disabilities Act (ADA). There is no onboard storage and the aisle must remain open per the fire code, but strollers that collapse or fit into the seating area are welcome.

In partnership with the City, our chamber sold display advertising spaces (at $400 per) located inside the trolley to 18 Elmhurst businesses and organizations, with all of the ad printing handled by Castco Communications.

Trolley advertisers include (in alphabetical order) Berkshire Hathaway Prairie Path (Muisenga), Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage (Sanchez), Community Bank of Elmhurst, Edward-Elmhurst Health, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst Dentistry For Kids, Elmhurst History Museum, Elmhurst Park District, Fitz’s Pub/Fitz’s Spare Keys, Home Discovery Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff (Mills), IC Catholic Prep, Illinois Spinal Care of Elmhurst, NEXT Yoga, Spring Road Business Association, State Farm Insurance – Sharon Sullivan, Total Window Treatments, York and Vallette Business Association and York Theatre – Classic Cinemas.

For riders active on social media, they can share their trolley photos by tagging #ExploreElmhurst.

John Quigley is president and CEO of the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce and Industry