You won't call the
county’s bus headquarters anymore.
You'll call Beach Boy Trolley Corp.
On Oct. 1, 2001, Beach Boy
took over charter trolley services in Escambia County and Pensacola
without competiton from the local governments.
"We hammered out an
agreement," said Beach Boy owner Tom McKean, who’s running a
dozen trolleys. He was scheduled to receive No.13 Monday. "We've
got two more coming before Thanksgiving."
Under federal transportation law, neither Escambia County
Area Transit--the agency that provides public bus service and maintains
city trolleys - nor the city of Pensacola can compete with a private
Without a corner on the trolley business, the city's trolley
income will taper off, ending last year's $70,000 plus revenue from
This weekend, Beach Boy
carried the wedding party of newlyweds John and Melanie Stewart from
Perdido Bay United Methodist Church to New World Landing in Pensacola.
The bride's aunt, Betts Hartsock, booked the transportation.
"It was something new. I thought it would be fun for
the whole wedding party to go together," Hartsock said.
"They loved it."
For more than a year, the company had daily runs along Perdido
Now, the Beach Boy name, colorful trolleys and Logos, can be
spotted all over Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
The company also does special events between Destin and Mobile.
The cost? You will have to call Beach Boy Trolley for a quote for your event.
And the company is carting people everywhere - weddings,
conventions, last weekend's Blue Angels.
The firm even has a contract with Baptist Hospital for special
Earlier this year, local government officials
realized Beach Boy might be ready to expand its offerings.
McKean agreed to allow the city to finish the calendar year with
a few charters the municipality already scheduled.
" Whatever we had on the books between now and
the end of December, he agreed to let us have that," said Jennifer
Fleming, the city's Community Redevelopment Agency director.
During the day, the city's four -trolley fleet
circulates downtown’s commercial core and the historic district.
"We're still doing that at a loss," she
Last fiscal year, the city paid for about 90 percent of the
downtown Trolley costs by renting its trolleys for private affairs
during evenings and weekends. To
make up the difference, the City Council raised downtown parking meter
rates and parking fines.
Now, without the extra income from charters,
Fleming said she doesn't know how the city will subsidize the downtown
"Beach Boy hopefully has so much business they'll rent the
city's trolleys," she said.