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» CCU adds six new trolleys
By Russell Alston
A new fleet of gleaming white trolleys has been shuttling the students of Coastal Carolina University around campus since the beginning of September.
According to Herbert Hoots, transportation manager for CCU, the trolleys were purchased from Specialty Vehicle Inc. in Goshen, Ind., for $167,240 each. The “Freightliner” frames were built in Gaffney, S.C. Hoots says there will be a six Freightliners in service by December, supplementing the current fleet of buses.
Up to 34 commuters can be accommodated on the wooden benches that provide seating for the trolleys, and up to 16 standees for a total of 50 passengers. More than 25 tinted windows provide passengers with views of the CCU community as they’re being ushered to and from classes. And yes, there is a bell, located on the top front of the vehicles, that makes the authentic ringing noise associated with the streetcars of San Francisco.
The trolleys also have racks located on the front of the vehicle, which allows students to transport their bikes safely to campus. All trolleys are handicap accessible and have automated lifts for wheelchairs.
Hoot says the trolleys will provide “many years and miles of service.” The trolleys are brand new, run off a burning diesel system and come with a warranty that covers maintenance and the cost of parts.
“You can run them for a million miles, and if need be, replace the engine and keep running,” he says. “Great bang for the buck.”
Sandy Baldridge, CCU’s manager of contractual and business services, says the shuttle system is currently being serviced with leased buses. Buying six new trolleys will allow for more flexibility in service.
“With the purchase of the trolleys, CCU now has the ability to adjust the routes in order to better serve the needs of the university community,” she says.
“The trolleys are a great addition to campus,” says senior English major Barbara Hollingshead. “Visually, I think they pair well with all the new buildings that have been going up while I’ve been attending Coastal.”
Hoots says the vehicles will be wrapped with CCU branding as soon as the school designs a theme that best suits the style of trolley and CCU. Until then, he and his cohorts in transportation are pleased with the new trolleys and are enjoying having them as part of CCU’s new convoy.
“Choosing the trolleys was thought out and discussed to see which type of vehicle was best for the university’s need,” says Hoots. “We believe they will be a great fit for CCU for a long time.”
The trolleys will run the current university shuttle routes, which includes stops at university place, the main campus and the east campus. Saturday and Sunday shuttles also run from University Place to main campus, and also to Gateway Plaza in Conway. Trolleys will be used during events on campus as well, to help transport visitors and individuals attending events from the parking lots to the event location.