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Dodger Trolley on the Ropes

2:23 PM PST on February 23, 2009

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Remember last year when the Dodgers announced that for the first time in years transit service would come back to Dodger Stadium?  It was a pretty great event, the Mayor was there and over 700 people a game used the free bus service to get the people to the stadium every day.  All in all, it was a pretty great story from last year.

Sadly, like a lot of great starts, the story probably won't end well.

Well, between the city's budget crisis and the Dodgers' refusal to put any money into the "trolley" service, it looks as though the shuttle will go down as a half a season success that won't be repeated.  The LADOT doesn't believe they can run the service at cost, i.e. break even charging people for the service and doesn't have the money to keep the service in place and the Dodgers just flatly refuse to fund it claiming that transit services shouldn't be paid for by private entities.

Currently, the LADOT is trying to find other private sources but is recommending that if no new private sources step to the plate soon, then the LADOT reccomends that the city cancel the program for the 2009 season.  Why anyone besides the Dodgers would be interested in paying for this service, even if there were some sort of advertising or other deal attached.

This sad state of affairs isn't news to people that have been following the saga of the succesful pilot program for awhile.  The impass between the Dodgers and LADOT has been ongoing since the pilot program ended last fall when the Philadelphia Phillies ended the Dodgers' season.  The City Council has backed the LADOT with Councilman Bill Rosendahl publicly blasting the Dodgers for not stepping up.

It was about a year ago to the day that I wrote my first story for Los Angeles Streetsblog where I took a story from the old StreetHeat blog and re-wrote it with more details, text, and links to show the difference between Streetsblog and StreetHeat.  It was about the effort to bring back transit service to Dodger Stadium.  In the story, I commented that it seemed rushed to be trying to get a service up and running for baseball season when Spring Training is already underway.  I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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