Business Owners Propose Trolley Service for Beach Haven

By Eric Englund | Nov 20, 2019

Beach Haven — A group of Beach Haven business owners is trying to drum up support for a proposed trolley transportation system in the borough that they hope can alleviate parking woes.

Brian Wainwright, owner of Fantasy Island Amusement Park, said during a presentation at last week’s borough council meeting the group is looking to start with two 18-passenger vehicles. Cost for each one is approximately $150,000.

“We’re looking to raise one-third of the cost,” he said. “The rest could come from the borough’s capital budget. We’re also seeking opportunities for grants.”

Wainright was joined by Jay Cranmer, owner of Buckalew’s Tavern and Restaurant, and Chick Veasey, owner of Chick’s T-Shirts. The three, who are part of a recently-formed parking and traffic improvement committee, said the shuttle idea is mostly conceptual and specific details have yet to be ironed out.

“We’re thinking of it running from 3:30 in the afternoon to 11:30 at night during the summer season,” said Wainright. “It’s possible we could use it in the off-season for some special events.”

Veasey said that unlike the LBI shuttle, which is administered by Long Beach Township, transportation would not be limited to Bay Avenue. He said the trolleys would loop around to Bay Village, Schooner’s Wharf, Fantasy Island and establishments in the marina district. It would also make runs to the Sea Shell Resort and Beach Club, Engleside Inn and Coral Seas Motel in the Atlantic Avenue area.

“We still might partner with Long Beach Township,” said Veasey. “Another difference is that with the LBI shuttle, people have to flag it down. We’re going to have specific stops, and with two trolleys, one will be available very 15 minutes.”

Cranmer said trolley rides would likely be free of charge.

“If not, there would be a nominal charge,” he said. “But we’re hoping that there won’t be a need to have a fee.”

Wainright said he initially hoped to have the shuttle operating this coming summer, but now said it is more likely to debut in 2021.

Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis said that while the shuttle seems “like a good idea,” the council is not yet endorsing it.

“I think we have to know more about the costs before we make any commitment,” said Councilwoman Jaime Baumiller.

— Eric Englund

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