Tuscaloosa Trolley serves AU students, local residents


The Tuscaloosa Trolley, operated by the Tuscaloosa Transit Authority, has served the AU campus and downtown Tuscaloosa since 1971.

A version of the Tuscaloosa Trolley has been around since 1915, when it began as an electric tram.

Tram service started in 1883 when Tuscaloosa’s first horse cart pulled by mules and mustangs arrived. “The Dummy,” a dummy steam train that began in 1888, operated until 1915, when the street rail was electrified. In 1923, the Tuscaloosa Railway and Utilities Company sold the electric streetcar line to the Alabama Power Company. In 1941, electric streetcars switched to the bus system and continued to be operated by the electric company until passenger service was discontinued in 1942.

The UA bus line is free and runs twice an hour, including stop at the Federal Building, The Strip, Bryce Hospital, Student Recreation Center and nearby apartment complexes. One of the main features is the connection of the UA bus terminal to the city center terminal. Other routes cost runners $ 1.

“We started this route with a cooperative agreement between us and UA Transportation as a great way to connect downtown to campus,” said Tuscaloosa Transit director Russell Lawrence.

The TTA is subsidized by the Federal Transit Administration, which allows for low or no fares. As of fiscal 2017, transit service average ridership was approximately 30,000 passengers per month between the Tuscaloosa Trolley and the bus service.

In comparison, Crimson Ride had a total of 1,530,432 passengers from August 2017 to July 2018, with an additional 377,087 passengers using the 348-Ride and a further 507,498 passengers using the Apartment shuttle.

A match day shuttle is also available for relevant Saturdays and connects the stadium and the city center. The courses start three and a half hours before kick-off and end about an hour and a half after the match. Regular race rates apply for these events. Typical game day ridership averaged about 4,650 rides in 2019.

Tatyana Alexander, a junior from Mobile, Alabama, is a frequent passenger on the Tuscaloosa Trolley.

“I usually take it every morning,” Alexander said. “I live off campus, so I take her to class and then come home after class. “

Alexander lived on campus, but his move to an apartment complex initiated his use of the system. While the cart was good for Alexander, she said it wasn’t best for all life situations.

“The tram system doesn’t help much unless you live off campus or live in an apartment not made for students, as most of them have their own shuttles or are within walking distance,” he said. said Alexander.

Elizabeth Stewart, a sophomore from Nashville, Tennessee, found the Tuscaloosa Trolley and Bus system convenient.

“It’s an easy way to get to campus with the UA route, but there are also convenient stops all over town,” said Stewart.

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