Niagara Gazette

Tourism

March 10, 2007

TOURISM: Trolley expansion pitched

(Continued)

NIAGARA FALLS —

The green trolleys, which run hourly during the summer tourist season, shuttle visitors along a 3-mile loop. They are operated by the NFTA for about $11,000 a week. The NFTA, a state authority, also operates Metro bus lines.

The city is currently negotiating a new contract with the NFTA to provide the same shuttle service this summer.

Henry Sloma, vice chairman of the NFTA, said the agency is flexible in the service it could provide.

“I haven’t heard there’s a shift in direction,” said Sloma, who had seen a copy of O’Connor’s proposal. “I think we’ve had a good relationship with the city, and I think we provide a good service.”

Anello confirmed that the city is planning to use the NFTA for the trolley this summer, but said he is also exploring possibilities to expand the service or reduce its costs. He said he will soon put out a request for proposals (RFP) to determine what options the city has for the trolley service.

“I look forward to giving other agencies or businesses an opportunity to make presentations,” Anello said. “Since this looks like it’s going to expand further, I believe at some point we’re going to put out an RFP and really work on the process that would reduce the overall cost of the operation.”

O’Connor, who has served on the NTCC’s board of directors, said she has poured significant time and money into her proposal and that she should receive the contract for expanding the service.

She said she began developing the service after a meeting a meeting with area tour operators and former NTCC President and CEO David Rosenwasser. She later came back to Rosenwasser with a plan to run a “hop-on, hop-off” shuttle service that would serve destinations within the city of Niagara Falls and attractions north and east of the city.

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