Letter: Reader laments problems with Gatlinburg trolley system

Aug. 21, 2014 @ 05:47 PM

Editor, 

If the Gatlinburg Trolley System would run as efficiently as the Pigeon Forge System, this letter would not be necessary. To the locals who ride both systems, the difference is as apparent as night and day.

The Gatlinburg trolley drivers are, for the most part, a wonderful and courteous group of people. However, they suffer needless grief because they have no competent supervision.

Although the various problems might seem trifling and petty, taken together they amount to a system is disarray.

One problem is hardware maintenance. The new GPS system has been under installation for over a year, causing the “stop request” cord to be inoperable. Many tourists miss their stop and spend unnecessary time on trolleys which are often hot and raining water due to A/C units not properly maintained.

Although the system cannot run on a schedule due to the vagaries of traffic, it could start at the designated time. Blue line locals going to work should be able to predict the first arrival within a couple of minutes. But for various reasons, the trolleys often leave early or late, sometimes having to be fueled first. And predicting arrival time is impossible since there seems to be a reluctance to drive the speed limit.

The department is also responsible for the cleanliness of stop shelters, which often feel like waiting at a garbage dump. Sometimes the windows are not cleaned ... and we have some spectacular views!

Finally, the 4 p.m. shift change presents various problems. Drivers are instructed to arrive at the central hub between 3:55 and 4 p.m., which means they are often going too fast, too slow, or sitting somewhere getting in everyone’s way.

I don’t expect anything to be done about the mentioned and unmentioned problems. Perhaps it’s time to move to Pigeon Forge.

Russ Breeding

Gatlinburg