Trolley

Because of a shortage of volunteers, Astoria’s “Old 300” trolley has suspended service.

The Astoria Riverfront Trolley, struggling to find volunteers, suspended operations on Aug. 29.

“It’s a very tough decision,” said Frank Kemp, the trolley’s maintenance coordinator.

Operators cited a shortage of volunteers, who expressed concern for their health amid the rapid spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, as the primary reason.

The trolley, one of Astoria’s most popular attractions, resumed in July after a 16-month hiatus.

Bob Miller, an operator, said the suspension is especially painful for those who worked so hard to get Old 300 back up and running.

“This hurts. We were having so much fun out there,” Miller said.

Even before the delta variant’s spread, however, Miller said the trolley had difficulty finding as many volunteers as before the pandemic.

“The numbers are what they are. We’re looking at hospitalizations and things with the delta variant and suddenly there’s concern,” he said. “We’re looking out for our people and we’re looking out for our passengers.”

The trolley typically ends seasonal service in mid-September, so operators are not optimistic service will return in 2021.

“If things get better, we’ll be back,” Miller said. “But I don’t have a lot of faith in that.”

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.