Sarasota News Leader

07/12/2013

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Siesta Seen COUNTY COMMISSIONER SEEKS TO SPEED UP THE SIESTA TROLLEY TIMETABLE; THE TURTLE BEACH RENOURISHMENT PROJECT MOVES FORWARD; THE SIESTA CHAMBER SELLS ENOUGH VIP PICNIC TICKETS TO COVER THE JULY FOURTH FIREWORKS EXPENSE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor No trolley service to Siesta Key until 2016? However, Carter had explained in one of those That is too long! recent emails, Patterson continued, that because of the timing of the grant and the averThe assertion came from Commissioner Nora age 18-month lag between the county's placing Patterson in a recent email exchange with an order for new buses and the buses' delivGlama Carter, general manager of Sarasota ery, Siesta trolley service appeared to be imCounty Area Transit. possible before the beginning of 2016. As a result of their "conversation," Patterson raised the issue on July 10 — during the fi- In response to a June 25 email from Patterson, nal minutes of the County Commission's final Carter wrote the following on June 27: meeting before its summer recess begins. "In order to operate the proposed Siesta Trolley route, two vehicles are needed." The route, as planned, would operate every 30 minutes, Carter noted, including a stop at Turtle Beach every 60 minutes. "With the addition of the new Trolley route," she pointed out, "SCAT [also] would expand the current Route 11 on A couple of years ago, she continued, the Sunday to connect downtown Sarasota with County Commission was asked whether it Siesta Key." wanted to advance funding for the match of a state grant to bring the trolley service on- The Siesta Trolley would be funded with a line sooner. "We were in a particular financial 50/50 three-year "service development opercrunch," Patterson told her fellow commis- ating grant" from the Florida Department of sioners, "and we decided not to do that." Transportation, Carter continued. That grant, Patterson pointed out to her colleagues that trolley service on the key had been envisioned for a number of years as a means of alleviating some of the parking concerns for visitors and residents.

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