EMTA Partners with Erie Arts & Culture, Erie Events, and the Erie Downtown Partnership; Expands Cultural Loop Trolley Service

Erie, PA – The Cultural Loop Trolley Service will shorten wait times, offer new pick up locations, and run from 5:00pm until midnight on Saturdays as a part of the Loop’s expansion which goes into effect May 7th.

Key partners in the expansion include the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority, Erie Arts & Culture, Erie Downtown Partnership and Erie Events. The free Saturday evening trolley service runs every fifteen minutes along a dedicated route set apart from EMTA’s regularly scheduled lines, providing “door to door” service to downtown arts and culture venues, dining, and entertainment.

“The Cultural Loop is a unique service that helps us connect the many assets that are in downtown Erie,” says John Buchna, Executive Director of the Erie Downtown Partnership. “This key service allows riders to enjoy the many different business, arts, cultural and sporting events that happen each weekend. We are grateful for those involved that helps improve the overall experience of downtown Erie.”

The inception of the Cultural Loop began with a phone conversation between Erie Arts & Culture Executive Director, Amanda Brown Sissem, and a patron of the Erie Philharmonic. “They requested that we explore a park and ride service that would meet the needs of patrons during the winter months,” says Brown Sissem. “Last year the pilot program launched, and this year we are pleased to be able to help expand the service. The Cultural Loop allows community members easy navigation of downtown Erie’s arts and cultural offerings making it easier than ever to participate.”

Park and ride options for the Cultural Loop include the Erie Intermodal Transportation Center, as well as the newly added locations of Liberty Park and the Sheraton Bayfront Hotel. The Liberty Park option was implemented for boaters docking at the marina to participate in Saturday evening activities in downtown Erie. The Sheraton Bayfront Hotel stop is also a part of the service’s expansion and allows tourists in town for conventions or recreation an option to explore downtown.

One of the primary differences between the Cultural Loop and other EMTA routes, is that it is the only route servicing French street from the Bayfront to 14th, and making stops directly in front of venues such as the Erie Insurance Arena, Warner Theatre, Erie Playhouse, Dramashop and Radius Gallery inside the Renaissance Centre, and the Performing Artists Collective Alliance (PACA). “This new service is a departure from our normal model,” says Michael C. Tann, Executive Director of the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority. “We are excited about the collaborative possibilities created by this service and potential for growth moving forward.”

Cultural Loop maps are available at EMTA, and most arts and cultural venues in Downtown Erie. Route maps can also be downloaded online at www.erieartsandculture.org and www.ride-the-e.com. As a part of the expansion, and to better promote and service patrons, LED screens displaying where the trolley is along the route in real-time are being installed at the Warner Theatre and Sheraton Bayfront Hotel. Riders can also track the trolley via EMTA’s new mobile app myStop and sign up for texts that alert them when the trolley is arriving at their stop via www.ride-the-e.com/mystop. 

About Erie Arts & Culture

The mission of Erie Arts & Culture is to strengthen the vibrancy and vitality of the Erie Region and enrich the lives of our people through the advancement of arts and culture. Additional information about Erie Arts & Culture is available online at www.erieartsandculture.org.

About Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority

EMTA (Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority) provides over 3 million rides a year in Erie County. In operation since 1966, EMTA currently operates 29 fixed routes through Erie city and county; including Albion, Corry, Cranesville, Elk Creek, Erie, Fairview, Girard, Harborcreek, Lake City, Lawrence Park, McKean, Millcreek, North East, Summit, Union City, Waterford, Washington, and Wayne townships. In order to provide reliable service to as many as possible in Erie County, these fixed routes operate an average of over 20 hours and over 5,500 miles each day Monday through Sunday.

About Erie Events

The mission of Erie Events is to provide world class convention facilities and entertainment venues presenting diverse performing arts and sporting events for county and regional residents and their visiting families and friends, meeting and convention visitors, travelers and vacationers. Erie Events strives to present a diverse selection of performing arts and sporting events enjoyable to not just residents of our own community, but also to meeting and convention visitors, travelers and vacationers.

About Erie Downtown Partnership

The Erie Downtown Partnership is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Erie by improving its image, business climate, physical environment, and design. More information is available online at http://www.eriedowntown.com/.

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