The city of Southlake is looking into launching a new trolley system to help relieve traffic and aid transportation around the city.
Traffic is the No. 1 issue for residents, according to a recent citizen survey, so the city will be working with a consultant to determine the feasibility of a trolley to help residents and shoppers get around Southlake Town Square and other destinations around the city, according to a city news post.
The study will cost an estimated $50,000.
The consultant fees and, later the free trolley service would be funded by the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax, which has increased more than 22 percent in the last year. The tax will bring in an estimated $1.2 million this year fiscal year. The tax just cracked the million-dollar mark for the first time in 2016.
Mayor Laura Hill has been a strong advocate of the trolley for several years.
"I am excited to see the possibilities of a trolley taking people who live, work or play here where they want to go," Hill said. "We will soon be moving forward on working with a consultant to evaluate the feasibility of a trolley system. Their job is to gather information, which will help us determine the best course of action."
The study could be completed by the end of September.
Hill envisions a trolley connecting retail destinations like Southlake Town Square, Park Village, the Shops at Southlake and Kimball Park to the city’s hotels and business parks.
The Cambria Hotel & Suites just opened on Kimball Avenue and Texas 114 last year. Future hotels include a Westin Hotel is proposed at 1200 E. State Highway 114, an Indigo Hotel in Carillon at the northeast corner of White Chapel Boulevard and Texas 114 and a Delta Hotel at the southeast corner of White Chapel Boulevard and Texas 114.
Connecting the hotels helps visitors get around town and boosts tourism, which benefits the hotel tax that funds the trolley system. Southlake started collecting the 7 percent tax on hotel rooms in 2000 when the Southlake Hilton Hotel opened.
It could also connect to T.D. Ameritrade’s new campus on Texas 114.