Evansville’s TED Trolley transporting to grocery

Starting at Garfield Commons April 16
Evansville’s TED Trolley transporting to grocery
Updated: Apr. 3, 2019 at 5:31 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - In the heart of a food desert, Evansville’s TED Trolley is taking people to the grocery store. It is all for free.

“The grocery store is not nearby. It’s not in walking distance,” says Garfield Commons Resident Barbara Tillett.

After months of hearing calls for help, the city has come up with a possible solution to the “food desert” problem. It starts with the first stop at Garfield Commons.

City leaders have a broader idea for how to expand this service all over town, but they are starting small with this trial run to make sure they get it right. The TED Trolley is about to meet a crucial need in the community for those who have no way to get to the grocery.

Tillett does not have a car.

"I’m a New Yorker. I don’t drive. When I come from New York I don’t need a car because you know there’s mass transportation, but here there’s limited transportation,” says Tillett.

Tillett relies on a friend to take her to the grocery store. That makes it tricky if he gets tied up.

“I just don’t go anywhere. I just have to wait until he can take me,” says Tillett

That is soon to be a thing of the past. The Promise Zone is giving TED a new role.

“We’re experimenting with this 33 passenger trolley that the Franklin Street Events Association has to try and get people comfortably, safely to and from a grocery store and back to their home,” says Department of Metropolitan Director Executive Director Kelley Coures.

The trolley will take people to the grocery, give them an hour to shop, and bring them home. It is a more convenient way to get their groceries than navigating a METS bus.

“Going to the grocery store and getting your groceries done and you have all these bags and getting on transportation, it’s not easy. With this here they drop you right off here at the building. It’s just fabulous,” says Tillett.

“We’ve done a lot of surveying to ask residents where they would like to go. Rulers came up as the #1 place. And then we hope to expand as we go along in this process moving to Tepe Park and other areas in the Promise Zone within our 3 month pilot program,” says Promise Zone Executive Director Silas Matchem.

The ultimate goal is one day securing funding in the city’s budget for 17 stops around town. The trolley will pick up its first riders on Tuesday, April 16.

You do not have to live in Garfield Commons. Anyone can hop on.

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