Save the Sioux Falls Downtown Trolley
Sioux Falls Downtown Trolley is in trouble!!! We are going to give you 10 reason why we should… we need to… we HAVE TO help, “Save the Trolley!”
1. The History
The trolley belongs to a history of Sioux Falls Public Transportation that can trace its roots back to 1887 when RF Pettigrew and Samuel Tate provided horse drawn street railroad rides from downtown, as far south as Augustana and USF, and as far north west as Burnside Ave!
By 1889 Pettigrew again had led the charge into creating the “Sioux Falls Terminal Railroad,” made up of hay-burning engine trolley’s that ran from downtown to South Sioux Falls. It was said to have carried 1,000 passengers in its first day in business. Parts of this railroad can still be found near I-229 and 26th St.
1907 Marks the birth of the most stable and long running rail system in Sioux Falls History – the Sioux Falls Traction System. These trolleys ran all over town and were powered by electrical wires that were first supported by poles in the middle of the street and then by a grid work of lines suspended between buildings! The Sioux Falls Traction System ran until buses became the easier and more cost effective answer for public transit in 1929.
Buses ruled the day until 2001 when our current “Trolleys” were unveiled and but back into commission! Designed to look just like the old trolleys that ran down the streets of Sioux Falls in the early 1900’s the new and improved versions are diesel engine, slick wheeled, wheel chair accessible, air conditioned or heated, luxury rides! Running on a loop from Falls Park through downtown, and back again the trolley route takes you past some of Sioux Falls greatest historical treasures!
How many of you can remember a trip on the trolley? They’ve run Memorial Day through Labor Day for the past 14 years, surely you found yourself getting a lift while perusing downtown! If you’ve ever stepped foot on the Sioux Falls Downtown Trolley, then you know that it instantly transports you back in time. From the interior décor to the sites and sounds you feel a part of Sioux Falls history. The old travel guides that pointed out all of the amazing history to passerby’s help further to engulf you in the past and memory of our great city. Without the Sioux Falls Downtown Trolley your kids and grandkids, and great grand kids will miss that!
3. For the Sake of Sioux Falls Downtown
In the past 6 years since Mayor Huether took office we have seen a huge revitalization in Downtown Sioux Falls! We need the Sioux Falls Downtown Trolley now more than ever! The “Phillips to the Falls” drive gets more beautiful every year, the River Greenway, even the private instructed in downtown all are boosted and bolstered by the Sioux Falls Downtown Trolley route! Sioux Falls downtown was once a “ghost town” on nights and weekends… but now it is a lively and active scene! Citizens and visitors alike can get a front row tour through all of these amazing sites, scenes, and so much more in less than an hour on the Trolley! The trolley is literally guiding folks through the changing and evolving Sioux Falls Downtown scene!
4. Save the Trolley For Our Visitors
This is perhaps the most vital reason of all! Sioux Falls isn’t just a shopping Mecca for the rural surrounding area. Sioux Falls isn’t just a place to catch a show before the long drive back home. Sioux Falls isn’t just an arena, or mall, or sports venue… it is a historic city full of life and color and stories to tell at every turn! The fact of the matter is visitors will come to shows at the Premier Center, they’ll watch games at the Pentagon or the Birdcage, they’ll zip up and down 41st street on a day long shopping spree… They will do those things… no matter what.
We need things like the trolley to pull people further into our city. To tell them of our history, even make them a part of our story. We need the trolley to act as a guide through historic Downtown Sioux Falls and our namesake Falls Park. Falls Park is own of the Top 25 City Parks in the Nation – and you can’t see it from the Premier Center! The Sioux Falls Downtown Sculpture Walk is one of the most unique artists tours in the world and has received international acclaim as such, but you don’t get to experience that on a 41st shopping spree. What better, hassle-free way to find the Musuem of Visual Arts, the Library, the Orpheum Theater, the Carneige Building, 8th and Railroad, the Federal Building, and so many other great historic landmarks!
One Last Plea For Your Help!
I’ll be the first one to let you know how amazing Sioux Falls is. I’ll be the first one in line to catch a Canaries game, or a Barry Manilow concert, and I’m even willing to sit and wait while my wife is first in line to hit up a sale at the Empire Mall, but we can’t allow the new to overshadow the old, and letting the Sioux Falls Downtown Trolley fade off into obscurity is the first step down that path! Head over to the “Save the Trolley” page, give $10, give $20, give $1000 whatever you can afford to help preserve a piece of our history and an integral part of the Sioux Falls Downtown scene!
We learned A TON about the history of the Sioux Falls Downtown Trolley from Eric Renshaw over at GreetingsFromSiouxFalls.com – be sure to swing over and find some more Sioux Falls History!