Free Trolley in Ventura, CA

People come up to Ventura to enjoy the harbor, the amazing Channel Islands, and the fresh breeze — and now the Ventura Trolley will make travel within the area a breeze.

Ventura, California is about to become easier for travelers to visit this summer thanks to a FREE trolley system to take you between Ventura’s Downtown and Harbor Village.

After living in Los Angeles for many years, I finally got up to the Southern-ish California coastal village of Ventura. I was there to kayak around the Channel Islands and their pristine beauty took my breath away and reinvigorated me at the same time. But while there, I also got to know downtown Ventura — and as I walked around I was sorry I had missed this lovely town for so many years. (I also learned Ventura has two great golf courses and that one is a true Links course. Soon a friend was up there enjoying a game at the Links course.)

Anyway, I got there by car and had the benefit of a car. But now, Ventura, a place full of people who care about the environment and understand high fuel costs, decided to put some helpful public transportation into place for us.

Starting July 3, 2013, the new “Downtown-Harbor Trolley,” will run from the historic Downtown to the Ventura Harbor Village, making stops at coastal hotels and Rhumb Line Restaurant and other partner locations, including the Amtrak platform outside the Ventura County Fairgrounds. (The Ventura County Fairgrounds is home to many of Ventura’s biggest and most exciting events.) The trolley’s overall route will include the ability to make flag stops along the way. (I am not sure but I think that means you can flag them along their route down to pick you up in case you aren’t at a bus stop.)

The trolley will run 5 days a week, Wednesday through Sunday, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. during the summer season, with the ability to adjust hours of operation and location stops. On weeks that involve major holidays, the trolley service will adjust accordingly by moving Wednesday’s service to Monday. (Maybe that means they will run Monday through Sunday as needed. I have to check on that, too.)

Uniformed Licensed trolley drivers will be your hosts, and — impressively — can actually be reached by phone so you can really know when they expect to arrive at your stop!
Yes!!mThey will actually have hands-free phone devices! And the phone number will be listed on signs at each pre-determined stop so you can easily call them. The number, by the way, is 805-827-4444.

Another benefit for travelers is that this free trolley is not just for tourists, but for locals as well. So if you like getting to know locals, here’s a new opportunity.

The trolley is the creation of the Downtown Ventura Partners (DVP), who will purchase and operate the trolley. Operations will be funded through a unique partnership including the Ventura Port District, Ventura Harbor Village, Rhumb Line Restaurant, Ventura County Fairgrounds, City of Ventura, with additional support from Watermark Restaurant, NeedThree, Montecito Bank & Trust, City of Ventura Environmental Sustainability, Ventura Water, Island Packers, Andria’s Seafood Restaurant & Market, Crown Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel, Ventura Visitors & Conventions Bureau, Ventura County Air Pollution Control District and Ventura County West.

For more information on Ventura, California’s attractions, events and accommodations, visit or phone 800-483-6215.

There is also a Visitors Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wondering how you get to Ventura from LA? There’s a bus that runs from LAX. There are also trains. I will try to write about that stuff here soon.

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