Trolley tours return to the streets of Savannah with changes

Local tour companies adjust to COVID-19 guidelines while welcoming customers back

Trolley tours return to the streets of Savannah with changes

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Old Town Trolley Tours are back on the streets of downtown Savannah.

But not without making some major changes due to COVID-19.

“In all honesty, we’ve taken safety to a whole new level,” said Old Town Trolley Tours Savannah General Manager Garry Patrick.

Spending the past couple months busier than ever, in a new way.

“From a business perspective, yes, we weren’t out on the streets but behind the scenes we’ve worked incredibly hard to come up with strategies that comply and exceed the Governor’s orders and what the CDC recommendations are,” said Patrick.

That means deep cleaning each trolley every night and between tours.

Cutting their typical fifteen stop tour down to just two running every 30 minutes.

Perhaps the most noticeable change?

“We are committed to social distancing. We actually have chains on the seats that rope of six-foot intervals between the people,” said Patrick.

Changes their customers, like Sydney Hester, have already taken notice of.

“There was plenty of distance between us and the other people on board and there was masks available if you wanted them so, I felt safe," Hester said.

But changes that have also impact the bottom line.

“You know we were carrying anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 people a day and right now you’re lucky to carry a hundred people a day,” said Patrick.

A big hit for them financially but Patrick says the decision open was about much more than money.

“Sure, we’re not making any money right now but what we’re doing is showing the world that we’re back out there. I feel the trolleys are definitely in Savannah are a good gauge to the general public but also to businesses that the business is coming back.”

As for the future of the industry, Patrick said he feels trolley business may take a hit in some locations but he’s confident Savannah will see it get back to where it once was.

How long that will take though is still up in the air.

For information on tour times and prices head over their website.

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