After a month off, Leesburg's free trolley-bus will resume weekend service on Saturday, this time with a bit of entertainment for passengers.
The town has produced a CD that will be played during the route, featuring local rock, alternative and jazz acts, said Kathy Leidich, assistant to the town manager. The disc, which includes Quitter UK, The Plunge, More Than a Mouthful and the Loudoun Jazz Ensemble, will give riders a taste of the local music scene as they ride around town, Leidich said.
The trolley -- it's really a diesel bus painted red and green to look like a trolley -- takes passengers between Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets mall and the historic district. Since it began running in November, it has carried about 2,400 passengers a month, double the ridership of a regular bus that the trolley replaced.
The town added weekend service to the trolley's schedule through the summer, but that ended Aug. 28. Now, as holiday shopping draws near, weekend trolleys will resume and continue into early January, said Town Manager John A. Wells.
Despite the boost in ridership, it isn't clear whether the trolley is fulfilling its purpose: to take residents and visitors to all areas of Leesburg, particularly the historic district.
"We're just now getting to look at the data," Leidich said. "Our two busiest stops are the outlet mall and Wal-Mart," just north of the mall.
The initial success prompted town leaders last December to consider adding another trolley to the route, an idea that was ultimately put on hold, Leidich said.
"Our recommendation was, 'Let's see how the first trolley works,' " she said. "At this point we're still working with the first one. There are still a lot of other things we can do with it."
Also on the table is a plan to include a historic tour on the route.
Weekend trolley hours are Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. On weekdays, the trolley runs from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.