On Saturday, October 7, 2023, the City of Annapolis will launch a pilot program to run an electric trolley route in Eastport. The entire loop is expected to take about 10 minutes and will run Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To catch the trolley anywhere along the route, simply flag it down. The trolley is free.
The route will begin and end on Norman Drive (behind the Eastport Shopping Center). From there, the six-seater GEM cart will follow this route: Chesapeake Avenue, Fifth Street, Chester Avenue, Fourth Street, Severn Avenue, and Second Street. The route will return to Severn Avenue and run to Washington Street, connecting with Bay Ridge Avenue to Monroe Street in front of St. Luke’s Church. The trolley will end where it began on Norman Drive.
“During the rebuild of the downtown Hillman Garage, we got to test the electric trolley for Maryland Avenue and State Circle,” said Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley. “Once people recognized the convenience and fun, it grew in popularity. It is my hope that we bring that same enjoyable transit energy to our neighbors on the Eastport side of the bridge.”
The trolley is a low-speed, street-legal, six-seater GEM electric vehicle. These vehicles are valued for safety, comfort, sustainability and style. GEM carts are low-maintenance and don’t require fuel costs, making them a cost-efficient way to transport people. The doors can be removed for open-air transport in good weather. The quiet operation not only allows passengers to have conversations, it also keeps noise pollution down during operation in residential neighborhoods.
While street parking in Eastport is not pay-to-park (meters, kiosks or ParkMobile), finding parking can be a challenge. The cart is expected to relieve parking congestion for residents – even those who never ride the trolley – while removing parking as an obstacle for visitors who want to explore Eastport’s many inns, shops, and restaurants.
The pilot is funded through Fiscal Year 2024 and, if successful, could be funded longer.