Gig Harbor trolley pilot program earns downtown revitalization award

Pierce Transit has earned the Excellence on Main Award for Community Partnership from the Washington State Main Street Program for...

Pierce Transit has earned the Excellence on Main Award for Community Partnership from the Washington State Main Street Program for a pilot project introduced last summer that provided trolley service in Gig Harbor.

Between July 9 and Sept. 28, two trolleys carried passengers from downtown Gig Harbor to Uptown every 30 minutes in an effort to alleviate congestion and parking concerns during Gig Harbor’s busy summer season, as well as promote the use of public transit among visitors. Officials reported nearly 5,600 passenger boardings during the first two weeks of service. The pilot program was a partnership between a so-called Community Investment Team that consisted of Pierce Transit, Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance, the City of Gig Harbor, Uptown, and the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

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Gig Harbor’s trolley program is an excellent example of community-minded efforts that help support alternative transportation and the connectivity of community,” said Washington State Main Street Coordinator Sarah Hansen. “The Community Investment Team demonstrates the significance of partnerships in enhancing the livability of our historic places.”

The Excellence on Main Awards are organized by the Washington State Main Street Program to recognize communities, organizations, and individuals who are helping achieve sustainable communities and economic vitality in Washington State through downtown revitalization and preservation. The awards are open to communities affiliated with the Washington State Main Street Network, including Designated Main Street Communities, Main Street Tax Credit Incentive Program Communities and Affiliates.

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The awards were announced on Weds., May 7, in conjunction with RevitalizeWA, Washington State’s Preservation and Main Street Conference, which is being held this year in Wenatchee, Wash. Other award recipients include 2013 Girls Night Out (Outstanding Promotional Event / Gig Harbor); Mill City Brew Werks (Economic Vitality / Camas); Geddis Building (Community Partnership / Ellensburg); Royal Sports Ellensburg (Entrepreneur of the Year / Ellensburg); Street Furniture Project (Visual Impact / Ellensburg); Langley Centennial Edible Garden (Green Community / Langley); The Starlight Room (Entrepreneur of the Year / Port Townsend); The Eisenbeis Building (Visual Impact / Port Townsend); Downtown Walla Walla Residential Guidelines (Outstanding Special Project / Walla Walla); and Pybus Public Market & Sustainability Center (Excellence on Main Award / Wenatchee).

Since 1984, the Washington State Main Street Program has been helping communities revitalize the economy, appearance, and image of their downtown commercial districts using the Main Street Approach. In 2010, the Main Street Program was moved from the Department of Commerce to the Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation. The program is managed, under contract, by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Gig Harbor trolley service pilot program, click on the following links:

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