Free trolley service to link Tulsa's entertainment districts
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
10/31/12 at 4:22 PM
Downtown’s prime entertainment districts will have a new transportation option starting this weekend.
The Brady Arts District Business Association, along with Blue Dome and Deco district businesses, will introduce free trolley service starting Friday.
With a polite nod to Tulsa’s oil-splashed glory days, when trolleys connected downtown to other parts of the city, the new trolley service — provided by Old Urban Trolley — will run every Friday and Saturday evenings, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., linking the Brady Arts, Blue Dome and Deco districts, as well as other points of interest downtown — including the Tulsa Performing Arts Center and the BOK Center.
“Downtown is becoming more and more of a destination,” said Bob Fleischman, president of the Brady Arts District Business Association. People used to come almost strictly for business, but that’s changing.”
The idea for the trolley started with that organization. Businesses within the district were onboard with the idea, but interest grew even more when talk began of going beyond Brady to Blue Dome, then Deco.
The Tulsa Metro Chamber is a sponsor, and Fleischman hopes the Tulsa Convention & Visitors Bureau expresses interest down the road, too.
Benefits abound, Fleishman explained.
“For one thing, it’s fun,” he said. People may be inclined to just hop on the trolley and see where it goes.
Plus, it will allow theater patrons to park in the PAC, catch the trolley for dinner somewhere nearby, then return on the trolley in time for curtain call, he said — and, perhaps, even back on the trolley after a PAC production for dessert and back again.
When organizers approached them with the idea, “we were thrilled,” said Chad Oliverson, marketing director for the Guthrie Green and Tulsa PAC Trust. It jibed well with their goals for Guthrie Green.
“Tulsa is evolving, and transportation of this type is of increasing importance to all venues downtown,” Oliverson said. “We are very happy to be included as a stop along the way.”
The complimentary trolley, which will loop approximately every 20 to 30 minutes, will allow visitors to park and ride to various restaurants, clubs, shops and performance venues.
“We see it as something that’s really going to unite the downtown districts and make it more attractive,” Fleischman said.
The inaugural trip will depart from the Guthrie Green, 111 E. Brady St., at 5 p.m. Friday. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.