This summer, the “Hull-O Trolley” is up and running again after being unavailable during the height of the COVID19 pandemic, and plans are under way to greatly expand its service.
Operated by the Chamber of Commerce, the free trolley service runs on weekends, shuttling passengers to different parts of the town in an effort to reduce beach traffic and boost tourism. Running from the MBTA ferry stop at Pemberton Point down to Nantasket Beach, trolley services are planned to run until mid-September.
The trolleys are managed by South Shore Cycles, a Hull business that also rents out e-bikes. With one location already on Nantasket, the business is working on opening another in Kenberma to manage and park the trolleys.
Bill Hennessey, the owner of South Shore Cycles, says for the two weeks of the year the trolley has run so far, it has been very popular, with more than 400 passengers already.
“Quite a few people have been coming in,” said Kat Wasabi, a Chamber of Commerce member and administrator who was involved in the process of getting the trolley rolling again. “It’s a cool little thing that we do.”
Hennessey also reports that the Chamber is planning to expand the trolley services, and will be adding a second trolley in the coming weeks “to connect to different towns or the commuter rail.” He hopes to have five trolleys in service by the end of the year with an expanded route.
The Chamber will also be adding narrative tours, with “volunteers that would give a speech on each point they’re passing,” according to Wasabi. Those will begin this weekend.
Not only is the Hull-O Trolley” good for tourism in Hull, as it brings in new visitors from surrounding towns, but it can also help contribute to lowering beach traffic and Hull’s carbon footprint.
Hull aims to reduce its carbon footprint to net-zero by 2030, and having many people take the trolley instead of riding in their own cars can help reduce carbon emissions.
“The trolley company itself is actually looking into the future,” said Hennessey. “We’re looking into providing electric vehicles.”
Another plus of riding the trolley? With no cost to riders, it’s much more affordable than gas. But if you don’t have to pay to ride, who is financing the service? A series of grants and a few sponsorships from local businesses. Funding from the Town of Hull and grants obtained by state Sen. Patrick O’Connor, and from Save the Harbor Save the Bay, the state’s Better Beaches program, and the Hull Redevelopment Authority have made this public service possible.
“We’re glad to be a part of this,” said Hennessey.
For more information on the Hull-O Trolley, including its schedule, visit the Times’ website or hullchamber.com.