The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Use the trolley to reap visitors


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jul. 20, 2017 - 6:14 AM

It’s time for the city of Newnan to finally take action on a trolley funded already in a sales tax referendum that voters approved years ago. But the route should be different from the last one discussed by the city council going back and forth on the McIntosh Parkway.

Instead of a loop between Ashley Park and the courthouse square, the route should be expanded to shuttle guests at our growing list of motels to the shopping/eating/entertainment venues at either end of the new parkway. 

Many local residents don’t appreciate how many visitors we have who are here on extended stays. Sure, we have our zombie-seeking tourists, but they’re more focused on sightseeing and hitting amusements than shopping. However, we are blessed with the kind of visitors who have time on their hands and would be interested in hopping on a trolley to eat out or shop for a few hours.

Consider the dozens of students of Falcon Aviation Academy here for weeks at a time learning to fly. Many are from other countries and have no car. And the hundreds of patients in our local hospitals who come with their families for treatment and therapy, and often have the bulk of their days idle. 

So, it’s time to crank up that trolley on a circular route multiple times a day to serve those students and motel guests with free, convenient trips to stores and restaurants in the city’s two major commercial areas. It’s a way to generate additional sales for those businesses, which means more sales tax collections to fund other civic improvements like the multi-use trail network and a sports complex. That way the investment in the trolley can repay us in long-term dividends.