The “San Francisco-style” trolleys coming to Coney Island might be free to ride and will feature open-air windows when weather permits, billionaire developer John Catsimatidis told Coney Island News.
“It will be attractive,” he said, while adding that the trolleys might “have music like on Boardwalk of NY.” The service will be open to the public and will “either be free or cost a nickel,” he said.
The trolleys will operate on the road rather than on old-fashioned trolley tracks or cables, and could be electric-powered. Catsimatidis said it is not necessary to lay down the infrastructure reminiscent of classic trolley systems, but he is otherwise aiming to replicate the trolleys of San Francisco. Catsimatidis sent us links to photos of the trolley he hopes to recreate.
Coney Island News first reported the news of the forthcoming trolley service, which will run along Surf Ave. from the “Ocean Dreams” complex at 3514 Surf to the Stillwell Ave. subway station. Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group is currently in the process of building the complex, which will include 440 apartments, a supermarket, and a drug store.
Catsimatidis’ original plan was to build a plain bus service to transport residents of “Ocean Dreams” to the train station before he switched gears and said he would be “designing something even better.”
“Ocean Dreams” is slated to open in the spring of 2019, but Catsimatidis told us the trolley service could begin up to six months beforehand.
More transportation options?
The trolley would provide low-cost or free transportation in an area that has few public transportation options. The B36 bus, which also runs along Surf Ave., has drawn criticism for the amount of time it takes to bring passengers from the western end of Coney Island to the Stillwell Ave. station. Many riders are then forced to endure long commutes to Manhattan and other areas of the city.
To alleviate the commute to Manhattan, local residents, politicians, and groups, including “Coney Islanders 4 Ferry,” have made a push to bring NYC Ferry service to Coney Island. The EDC told Coney Island News over the summer that the possibility of future ferry service in Coney Island would depend on ridership and demand in the coming years, and their recent letter to City Councilmember Mark Treyger indicated a similar message.