Retro buses making debut in York City this fall

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Buses made to look like retro trolleys will be up and running in York City this fall.

York City streets might soon resemble a silent film from the 1900s with the introduction of four new buses designed to look like the trolley cars of yesteryear. 

The brainchild of local businesswoman Toni Calderone, York City Trolley debuted its four buses Sept. 1 at the centennial photo event, in which York County residents gathered at Continental Square to recreate an image taken in 1919.

The buses are set to start running this fall, operating on Fridays and Saturdays on a timed schedule. The current route will cover areas such as York College, Royal Square, Beaver Street and PeoplesBank Park.

"We're really excited to get more people downtown to experience what we've been working hard on for the past several years," said Calderone, owner of O.N.E. Hospitality Group.

York City Trolley made its debut on Sept. 1 at the centennial photo event in which residents recreated an image from 1919. The transportation is expected to begin making routes in York City this fall.

An all-night pass will cost $5, and one-way pass will be $3. Tickets can either be purchased through the York City Trolley app or by cash when boarding the bus.

Two of the buses will circulate through the downtown area, a white bus will be used for bridal and other special events, and plans are in the works to have a red bus used for historical tours in the future.

Calderone said she wanted the buses to resemble trolleys to match "the quaintness of York City," and found exactly what she was looking for by way of a man in South Carolina selling the vehicles.

She said she hopes the added transportation option will bring more county residents into the city. 

York Residents gathered in Continental Square in York City to recreate a photo taken 100 years ago on Sept. 1, 1919.

Though this additional source of transportation may seem like competition for existing companies such as Rabbit Transit, the agency's executive director, Rich Farr, does not see it this way.

"The effort of the trolley is a more narrow focus of transportation than the general transit provided by Rabbit Transit," Farr said via email. "We have spoken with the owner and are excited about their project.  We see their effort as complementary to York’s overall transportation program."

Downtown Inc director Elaine Bonneau said she views the new transportation system as an additional way to encourage tourism, improve economics and supporting the overall vibrancy York City offers.

"I thought, 'This is really a game changer for York City,'" she said. "Having access to transportation does allow people to feel safer and maybe go a little bit farther and navigating the city more than they would on foot."

— Reach Tina Locurto at or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.