A free trolley will shuttle tourists into and around the borough’s heart — but the retooling is really a revamping of a sorely underused version that ended its ignominious run last summer.
The original failure of the fake, gas-guzzling Heart of Brooklyn trolley was apparent to Park Slopers, who enjoyed the free ride, but rarely saw the throngs of tourists for whom the freebie was designed.
This time around, there are three shuttle routes that will bring tourists and visitors in from Williamsburg, Red Hook, Bay Ridge and even tourist hotspots in Manhattan. The idea, said Heart of Brooklyn President Ellen Salpeter, is to bring in Brooklynites and tourists that otherwise have no easy mass transit connection.
“We’ve been testing it just to get the routes right and we’ve had very good response [from riders so far],” she said.
Starting this weekend, the shuttle will take passengers to attractions such as Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Public Library’s central branch, the Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, the revamped Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the zoo in Prospect Park.
There are three routes. The “Museum Mile to Brooklyn Style” route brings in people from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at Bryant Park in Manhattan on Sundays. Two alternating Saturday routes run loops from Bay Ridge, Red Hook and Williamsburg. And the third route carries riders to the Brooklyn Museum for the free “first Saturday” program from 5 to 10 pm.
The project is funded by a $475,000 city grant for hybrid shuttle buses. An additional $150,000 grant from Deutsche Bank will help market the effort.
For schedules and information, visit www.heartofbrooklyn.org or call (718) 638-7700.