PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (Aug. 1, 2019) — As city officials unveiled the newly designed Pigeon Forge Mass Transit trolley design, they also announced record-breaking ridership for the 2018-19 season with more than 3.1 million passengers, up from 2.9 million the previous year.
Two new trolleys featuring the Pigeon Forge Mass Transit name and a mountain-scape design were unveiled at the city’s Trolley Station located in Old Mill Square. As new vehicles are introduced into the fleet, each will feature an image of a Smoky Mountains sunset spanning each side.
The Pigeon Forge trolley system is the second largest rural transit system in the U.S. It ranks first in fixed-route ridership in the country. Year-round trolley service began for the first time in Pigeon Forge on Jan. 6. Previously, trolley service in Pigeon Forge ceased the first week of January and remained out of service until early March
According to Pigeon Forge Transit Director Lynn Wilhoite, the current year’s ridership is on track to exceed the 2018-19 record. Two ticket types, the year-round pass and the $3 one-day pass, account for the largest increase in ridership. In 2018-19, 749 year-round passes were sold. More than 1,000 have been sold this year. Year-round passes are $35 per person and provide unlimited rides all season. Both ticket types are available for purchase by residents, visitors and those who work in the city.
“Our patrons are researching our Pigeon Forge Mass Transit routes and planning to park their cars and ride with us,” Wilhoite said. “They know how our routes align with the places they want to visit, and they’ve already identified that our transit system is the most efficient way to travel in Pigeon Forge.”
“Lynn and his transit department staff, along with our city leaders, have focused much time and effort on better connectivity to provide the best possible experience for our mass transit passengers,” said Pigeon Forge City Manager Earlene Teaster. “Ridership of 3.1 million and counting demonstrates that we’re providing a service that is needed and beneficial.”
Pigeon Forge Mass Transit operates on a winter trolley route during January and February from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with more than 100 trolley stops. During peak season, six trolley routes are offered, all of which originate and end at the Pigeon Forge Trolley Station located in the Old Mill district on Old Mill Drive.
All Pigeon Forge trolleys and trams are lift-equipped for wheelchairs and/or other mobility aids and may be accessed at any designated trolley stop. Passengers who are unable to get to a designated trolley stop may schedule a paratransit van for next-day pickup. Paratransit van reservations may be made by calling (865) 453-6444.
For more information about trolley service, please visit http://www.pigeonforgetrolley.org or call (865) 429-6444. Event images available upon request.