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The Cultural Loop Trolley Service will shorten wait times, offer new pick up locations, and run from 5:00pm until midnight on Saturdays as a part of the Loop’s expansion which goes into effect May 7th.

Key partners in the expansion include the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority, Erie Arts & Culture, Erie Downtown Partnership and Erie Events.  The free Saturday evening trolley service runs every fifteen minutes along a dedicated route set apart from EMTA’s regularly scheduled lines, providing “door to door” service to downtown arts and culture venues, dining, and entertainment. 

 “The Cultural Loop is a unique service that helps us connect the many assets that are in downtown Erie,” says John Buchna, Executive Director of the Erie Downtown Partnership. “This key service allows riders to enjoy the many different business, arts, cultural and sporting events that happen each weekend. We are grateful for those involved that helps improve the overall experience of downtown Erie.”

The inception of the Cultural Loop began with a phone conversation between Erie Arts & Culture Executive Director, Amanda Brown Sissem, and a patron of the Erie Philharmonic. “They requested that we explore a park and ride service that would meet the needs of patrons during the winter months,” says Brown Sissem. “Last year the pilot program launched, and this year we are pleased to be able to help expand the service.  The Cultural Loop allows community members easy navigation of downtown Erie’s arts and cultural offerings making it easier than ever to participate.”

Park and ride options for the Cultural Loop include the Erie Intermodal Transportation Center, as well as the newly added locations of Liberty Park and the Sheraton Bayfront Hotel.  The Liberty Park option was implemented for boaters docking at the marina to participate in Saturday evening activities in downtown Erie. The Sheraton Bayfront Hotel stop is also a part of the service’s expansion and allows tourists in town for conventions or recreation an option to explore downtown. 

One of the primary differences between the Cultural Loop and other EMTA routes, is that it is the only route servicing French street from the Bayfront to 14th, and making stops directly in front of venues such as the Erie Insurance Arena, Warner Theatre, Erie Playhouse, Dramashop and Radius Gallery inside the Renaissance Centre, and the Performing Artists Collective Alliance (PACA). “This new service is a departure from our normal model,” says Michael C. Tann, Executive Director of the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority. “We are excited about the collaborative possibilities created by this service and potential for growth moving forward.”

Cultural Loop maps are available at EMTA, and most arts and cultural venues in Downtown Erie.  Route maps can also be downloaded here or at www.ride-the-e.com.  As a part of the expansion, and to better promote and service patrons, LED screens displaying where the trolley is along the route in real-time are being installed at the Warner Theatre and Sheraton Bayfront Hotel.  Riders can also track the trolley via EMTA’s new mobile app myStop and sign up for texts that alert them when the trolley is arriving at their stop via www.ride-the-e.com/mystop.  

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The mission of Erie Arts & Culture is to strengthen the vibrancy and vitality of the Erie Region and enrich the lives of our people through the advancement of arts and culture.
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