Tourism Recreation Attractions
TROLLEY HO! Beginning This Summer, Passenger Trolley Will Offer E.C.-Area Tours
drivers sought for trolley bus that will give visitors, locals alike a glimpse of community sites
After more than a century’s absence, a trolley will once again transport visitors around the streets of Eau Claire in style with the launch of the Chippewa River Trolley Co., a new venture of Volume One. And you could even be a driver!
The trolley will begin operating this summer, carrying as many as 22 passengers at a time on tours in and around Eau Claire. Routes will begin and end at The Local Store, 205 N. Dewey St., offering locals and visitors alike a unique glimpse of the historic and natural beauty of the Valley.
Planned tours include historical and storytelling excursions, which will highlight Eau Claire’s colorful history from its early lumbering era to the present day, including historic mansions, iconic bridges, and even a hidden tunnel through a scenic urban forest. In time, the roster is expected to grow to include food-and-drink-based tours, holiday tours, outdoor-related tours, and more – all coming and going from The Local Store.
Seen through the fresh eyes of a visitor or an engaged local, this is a remarkable community with incredible history and beauty to offer.
VOLUME ONE OWNER
While the late 19th- and early 20th-century trolleys that traveled the Valley were technically streetcars – first pulled by horses, then powered by electricity, along tracks that carried them all the way to Chippewa Falls – their 21st-century counterpart will be a 25-foot trolley bus styled like a vintage trolley car, complete with open-air sides when the weather is right.
Trolleys like this operate in other small Midwestern tourist communities, so as Eau Claire’s reputation as a draw for visitors has greatly grown, it was only natural to eventually bring one to Eau Claire, says Volume One owner Nick Meyer, also a board member of Visit Eau Claire.
“Volume One has been thinking about doing this for many years – my friends know I’ve been a bit obsessed with the idea and been unable to let it go,” Meyer laughs about the endeavor. “Seen through the fresh eyes of a visitor or an engaged local, this is a remarkable community with incredible history and beauty to offer. I think people will be surprised at what we put together for tours, and through Volume One and The Local Store, we’re in a unique position to do it right.”
The new trolley is currently being built right here in Wisconsin at Hometown Trolley in Crandon, and it’s expect to arrive and start operation sometime during the summer of 2023. In the meantime, Volume One is seeking potential tour drivers who’ll need a CDL (Class C) with a passenger endorsement as well as an interest in leading narrated tours of the Valley’s most beautiful and interesting sights.
Those interested can apply now at volumeone.org/trolley.