Fort Worth

Molly the Trolley rides are free again. Here's how that happened

Molly the Trolley rolls down Houston Street on Friday morning, advertising its newly restored "free" status.
Molly the Trolley rolls down Houston Street on Friday morning, advertising its newly restored "free" status. senglish@star-telegram.com

Molly the Trolley is free again.

For nearly six months, the iconic green, trolley-style bus cost $2 a ride or $5 for a day pass.

But a group including Visit Fort Worth (formerly the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau), Downtown Fort Worth Inc. and Sundance Square, along with several downtown hotels, will subsidize the approximately $1 million annual operating cost of Molly, according to a city news release.

Free rides resumed Thursday.

"I'm glad it's free again," said Fort Worth resident Karen Knowlton, who said she frequently uses the transit services offered by Trinity Metro (formerly The T). "I thought $5 was a bit high to ride all day."

The decision to charge for Molly rides wasn't popular with some when it was announced last summer.

"Two dollars? To ride around downtown? That's ridiculous," rider Glenna Duncan told the Star-Telegram in August.

Andy Taft, who spoke to the Fort Worth Transportation Authority on behalf of downtown landowners, said, "Our view is that we would prefer Molly stay free."

Hotels helping subsidize the route to the tune of almost $136,800 annually are the Omni, Worthington Renaissance, Sheraton, Hilton, Embassy Suites and Blackstone Courtyard.

All of them are within the Molly the Trolley route, which is bordered by Commerce, Second and Houston streets and Lancaster Avenue and passes the Intermodal Transportation Center, Fort Worth Convention Center and Fort Worth Water Gardens.

Visit Fort Worth has released a series of videos touting the city as a tourist destination site.

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Stephen English: 817-390-7330, @sbenglish74

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