Problem: There is no easy transport system around Prospect Park.
Proposal: Revive the old trolley bus service in Prospect Park
Benefits/rationale: A convenient bus service around the park would enable easy access to various parts of the park and neighborhoods bordering the park. As a result, this would increase the use of various park services including the Lefrak center, Audubon center and lake, increase the admission and membership rates to the institutions bordering the park including the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Zoo, and increase shopping and dining in the neighborhoods surrounding the park.
Plan: Initially, the service could be provided on weekends only, from 8am to 6pm. The trolley buses would run the full circle through the park, returning to each stop about every 15-20 minutes. Eventually, the service hours could be extended to include the weekdays as well.
There was a trolley bus in the park years ago, but it ran only once an hour. This time interval was too long to provide any useful service to visitors of the park. A trolley bus that came every 15-20 minutes would provide greater convenience and thus greater value for the park community.
Bus maps could be provided on the bus or online. Ads could be included on a map, on the bus itself and on a website to offset operational costs (see below).
Bus: Probably 2 buses would be needed, maybe eventually 3. An electric bus should be used, ideally in the style of an old trolley bus. It should be enclosed for rainy and cold days, with windows that can open. Air conditioning would be ideal.
Bus fare: Free, or could charge a low fee. The costs of collecting and managing money would need to be taken into account.
Costs: Funding would need to be provided for the bus rental/purchase, bus upkeep, and for the payment of the bus driver and employees managing the bus service (ie, payment collection, cleaning).
Potential sources of funding and incentives:
NYC local government — increased local tax revenue, increases access to services around the park, especially for low income families, reduce traffic
Prospect park department — donors to the park of a certain donation level can ride for free
Brooklyn museum, Brooklyn botanical garden, Brooklyn zoo: increased access to these places will likely increase membership. Free bus tickets can be provided at the entrance desk of these sites, to be used that date.
Local businesses around the park: easier access to shops and restaurants around park will stimulate these various businesses. Businesses that donate can post advertising in the bus or be included in the bus map provided on the bus or website.
Farmers market — increasing access to healthy foods for all neighborhoods surrounding the park including low income areas
Big businesses — like citi bike, big business can advertise.