Rapid City’s trolleys are back up and running

10 PM KOTA Territory News - Sunday
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 8:02 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Rapid City’s trolley system has seen some troubles in the last couple of years but it’s now back up and running on a full schedule.

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rapid City trolley system struggled not only to maintain riders but staffing drivers to guide the tours. The staffing shortage got so bad that Rapid Transit System considered shutting the service down altogether.

Fast forward to today and the trolleys are under new management.

“The City did a great job running the trolleys for the last few years but had a little issue with staffing in recent years so we saw that as an opportunity to purchase them and provide visitors with a great service and a great mode of transportation around the city,” said Ally Formanek, the Director of Operations for Visit Rapid City.

Formanek says the transition between owners has been a smooth one.

“Rapid Transit System has been great with getting us set up with the trolleys and they’ve trained our drivers really well on how to operate the trolley and all the odds and ends. So RTS, Rapid Transit System has been great to work with as we acquire the trolleys,” said Formanek.

For those unfamiliar with the trolley system… it is a special bus that takes riders on a designated route through the city and surrounding area with the intent of showing people all the city has to offer.

“Some of the highlights of the route, it contains Memorial Park, it goes past the Berlin Wall and the Monument. It also goes through downtown and highlights some local businesses. We’ll drive past Storybook Island, Chapel in the Hills, Outdoor Campus West, Dinosaur Park, and also Skyline Dr,” said Formanek

The tour consists of twenty major stops as well as other points of interest mentioned by the pre-recorded tour guide.

The first day back for the trolley was May 24th and it will continue to run through the summer.