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Palm Harbor jumps on to catch Jolley Trolley

PALM HARBOR — The expanding Jolley Trolley route just got a new stop, with Palm Harbor set to join Dunedin and Tarpon Springs along the shuttle's proposed north Pinellas loop.

County commissioners agreed this week to fund the Trolley's stretch into the unincorporated neighborhood's tiny downtown, where it will likely roll past Thirsty Marlin and Peggy O'Neill's on its route down Florida Avenue.

Officials predict the open-air shuttles will sweep tourists, locals and their wallets into sights and shops not-yet-known.

The Trolley, nine red-and-yellow shuttles that for decades have circled Clearwater Beach, will in mid November begin an expanded hour-long route through the downtowns of Clearwater and Dunedin and into the antiques district and sponge docks of Tarpon Springs.

Officials say the Trolley will run loops from 10 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. Fares will be $2 a ride or $4.50 a day.

Fares and bus-side ads, planning documents show, will pay a fifth of the Trolley's $235,000 operating cost. Dunedin, Tarpon Springs, the Clearwater Downtown Development Board and the county's transportation fund will kick in about $95,000 in total, which the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority plans to match with reserves.

Trolley stops, the start date and other route details will likely be set next week. PSTA and Tarpon Springs leaders, who have already cheered on the concept, are expected to give their final approvals of the deal later this month.

Contact Drew Harwell at dharwell@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4170.

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For more information on the Jolley Trolley, which runs daily on Clearwater Beach, see clearwaterjolleytrolley.com.

Palm Harbor jumps on to catch Jolley Trolley 10/16/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 16, 2010 3:16pm]

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