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LAist Rides the Holly Trolley, Part I

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Martini Republic's editor, Joseph Mailander, claims to be the "first person to use the Trolley." LAist can verify that: we trailed behind him to be the second official passenger on board at Monday's preview of the new transit service that will serve Hollywood nightlife, Thursday through Sunday morning, 8 p.m. – 4 a.m.

That service begins tonight.

The Holly Trolley is more of an experience than just a hunky-dory bus ride. Besides the contemporary look and feel of the customized Red Car, you will be welcomed to your experience by “ambience directors.” Officially they are security detail, but they will more likely be fielding questions and playing bouncer to the trolley (the about-to-puke inebriated will have to sober up or take a hike). The ambience goes a step further by pumping in music from Sirius satellite radio, minus Mr. Stern. The ride is smooth and supposedly will be more comfortable as cushions are said to be on their way. You shouldn’t get caught in too much of Hollywood Boulevard’s traffic as the trolley only serves the eastbound side of the street (heading away from Hollywood & Highland).

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Here are the facts:

  • $1 buys a pass for the whole night while participating nightclubs and tourist venues will be promoting the service with free admission tokens. MTA day passes and LADOT Pass Holders are accepted.
  • While it is called the Holly Trolley, it is in fact not a true trolley. This road trolley is made to resemble the old-school streetcars.
  • The route: From the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, the route goes eastward on Hollywood, south on Cahuenga Boulevard, east on Sunset Boulevard, north on Vine Street, west on Yucca Avenue, south on Ivar Avenue, west on Selma Avenue, and north on Highland. While there are various stops, we wish they would add one at the corner of Ivar & Hollywood.
  • The route includes two MTA Red Line stops (Hollywood & Highland, Hollywood & Vine) and city parking lots at the ArcLight Hollywood Cinemas, Hollywood and Highland, and Cherokee and Wilcox. Unfortunately, like the Orange/Red Line connection, you will have to cross a street to connect with either Red Line stations along the route.
  • The schedule is officially "every 12 minutes." But our trip seemed to take 12 minutes to complete. That said, if the three trolleys are running evenly, you can expect a very short wait (and if it ends up being 12 minutes, we think you'll be fine).
  • Capacity is 50 with room for 30 sitting.

David Judaken hosted the Monday night preview party at his club, Mood. If you are into the who's who in Hollywood, and we mean by those who are actually within the geographical boundaries of Hollywood, running clubs, restaurants, and essentially making the area what it is, other attendees to the party were: Eric Garcetti, CD 13; Wendy Greuel, CD 2; Johnny Grant, the Mayor of Hollywood; Leron Gubler, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president; Elizabeth Peterson, Hollywood Chamber, EPG, & Sweet Freedom; David Green, Nederlander; Chris Breed, Pig and Whistle & Sunset Room; Kenny MacKenzie, Florentine Gardens; George Abou-Daoud, Bowery; Jordan Birenbaum, Q-Topia; Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board Members, Michael-Jon Smith & Karen Diehl; Kip Rudd, CRA/LA. We also think we spotted Yenny Paola Vega from Maria Full of Grace. We hope there will not be any graced passengers riding nightly.

Coming soon...Part II, where LAist rides with the public.