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the proposal to see if it makes sense. They have a May 9 deadline to award a contract to Stellar, in time to get the trolleys running by the end of the month and the summer tourist season.
The trolleys, he said, will fit in with the services that Stellar already provides. The company has grown from one vehicle in 2008 to 14 now, including some buses.
Olson, who started Stellar Limousine in 2008, said he looks forward to talking with city officials about their expectations for how the service will be provided. He wants to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Rhonda Milstead, who operates Falls Overlook Cafe, said the trolleys have become part of downtown's identity, and she thinks they help bring visitor dollars to the city. She thinks it was a mistake for the city to cut funding.
ways that federal rules had prohibited. For example, they can now be used as charters.
"Whether it would affect my business or not, no," she said. "But I think it affects people's perception of the city."
A Sioux Falls Trolley collects dust at the Sioux Area Metro Garage on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in Sioux Falls. (Joe Ahlquist / Argus Leader)(Photo: Joe Ahlquist Argus Leader, Joe Ahlquist Argus Leader)
Ridership on the trolleys averaged about 250 people a day, Dennison said. They've become part of the city's unique experience and contribute to tourism.
But officials also decided to test whether there was interest in the private market to run the trolleys. Sam Trebilcock, a transportation planner, put together the request for proposal as a Saucony Black And White
"We've tried to put the class back into renting a vehicle," he said. "That's kind of our motto."
"The trolley is absolutely critical to downtown Sioux Falls," he said.
The two trolleys were mothballed at Sioux Area Metro's main garage.
"We're pretty much saying, 'Here's the trolleys. Now you guys figure out a way to utilize them in a certain way," Trebilcock said.
"It just sounded like a great opportunity to partner with the city and keep the trolley service going," said Tom Olson, who owns the business with his wife, Ann.
The request requires the service provider to continue running a circulator route between downtown and Falls Park at a "reasonable cost." Now that the trolleys are no longer part of Sioux Area Metro which receives federal funding they can be operated in Reebok Pump
The City Council and Mayor Mike Huether last year agreed to eliminate about $140,000 for the service, which paid for two vintage looking trolleys to ferry people between downtown and Falls Park. The cuts came amid increasing pressure on Sioux Area Metro's traditional fixed route bus system and the paratransit buses that provide services for the disabled.
Poll:Should a private company operate the trolley in downtown Sioux Falls?
Stellar Limousine the lone bid to run downtown trolley
Stellar Limousine submitted the lone bid to run the trolley service after the city advertised for proposals last month. This comes after the city eliminated funding for the Reebok Khaki Classic trolley in this year's budget.
Jason Dennison, president of Downtown Sioux Falls, said the business community wants to see the trolleys continue operating. The organization has budgeted a few thousand dollars to help keep them running.
Officials will now review Saucony Progrid Echelon 3
one year pilot project to see if it can work.
"Downtown Sioux Falls is committed to seeing them operate this summer, and they will operate this summer," he said.
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