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Trolley provides cheap, reliable transportation

Sept. 10, 1996

Chelsa Dunn/The LariatThe Brazos Trolley, a cooperative effort between Waco Transit and Baylor University, provides convenient and affordable transportation to students without cars or to those who do not want to bother with finding a parking space on campus.

By Claire Hansen

Lariat Reporter

It is Monday morning, and more students just received one more tardy after fighting Baylor traffic, parking halfway to Dallas and arriving out of breath and sweaty to the first class. Why did they spend 20 minutes looking for parking that is still a brisk ten minute walk away from the classroom, all the way fearing the professor's wrath?

Well, fear not students, the trolley is here.

'Students should utilize the trolley as much as possible, because they are paying for it anyway,' said Leona Kiambao, a driver on the Green trolley route.

Some Waco transit employees view driving the trolleys as a privilege as opposed to driving the regular city bus routes.

'I love driving the trolley because a different kind of people ride here than those on Waco buses,' said Kiambao, who is beginning her third year as a trolley driver.

Baylor students are currently charged $7 a semester for the trolley, whether they ride or not.

Students unfamiliar with the trolley might want to consider the ride their wallet is taking when they opt to drive instead of ride to school. Campus parking decals currently run at $90 per automobile, and parking fines can range from $10 to $50 per offense for students parking illegally on campus, not to mention the cost of gas and the destruction automobile exhaust does to the environment.

'Riding the trolley is so easy because I just go outside my apartment in the morning and catch the trolley,' said Raquel Fox, a Denton junior and Boardwalk apartments resident.

Erik Otsuji, a Lewisville junior, recommends the trolley because '...it's pretty convenient. The only time it is not is when you miss it and have to wait another 15 minutes for another.'

Otsuji said he recommends the trolley to other students because the time it takes is equitable to the time it takes to find parking and then walk to class.

Kiambao said she has had some harrowing experiences while driving on campus.

'One student grabbed onto the moving trolley while riding his bike and hit the trolley as I stopped,' Kiambao said.

She said she cautions riders to not jump off or on the back or gate of the trolley.

Kiambao said the routes are busiest on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:45 a.m. and 10 a.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:15 a.m. The Gold route is really popular from the Rivercrest apartments while the Green route is most ridden from Village II apartments and Boardwalk, she said.

More and more students are riding the trolley each year, said Kirk Scott, general manager of Waco Transit, which owns and runs the trolleys.

'We have 400 to 500 passengers a day and we have added 60 percent more service from last year, including stops at George W. Truett [Theological] Seminary and Clifton Robinson Tower.'

Yet while the stops are expanded, the routes remain fixed.

Next time you consider taking your car you may want to think about the trolley instead. To look for the route, look at the front of the trolley instead of looking at the trolley color for the route, Kiambao said.

'I already had a freshman wait one hour looking for a gold trolley,' Kiambao said.

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