I-Drive District Celebrates 25th Anniversary of I-Ride Trolley

The exclusive themed transportation service of International Drive

ORLANDO, May 15,2023 - For the nation, it was the year of WIFI, and Motorola STARTAC, however for International Drive, it was the inaugural year of the I-Ride Trolley, the exclusive themed transportation service of The International Drive Master Transit & Improvement District d/b/a International Drive Business Improvement District (“The I-Drive District”). The I-Ride Trolley began servicing the I-Drive District in 1997 along a five-mile route on International Drive from American Way to SeaWorld. In the 25 years of operation, the I-Ride Trolley has remained a crucial part of the community, connecting locals and visitors to The District and the businesses it supports.
The idea for an exclusive, themed transportation service along International Drive stems from the creation of the I-Drive District in 1993, which falls under the leadership of industry veteran, Executive Director, Ms. Luann Brooks. Here, fifteen stakeholders gathered in a conference room with an idea for a first-of-its-kind special district, “The I-Drive District.” During this meeting, the stakeholders explored the concept of an exclusive themed transportation service that would support the area and its growth; in 1994, the first I-Ride Bus system began servicing I-Drive. However, in 1997, a bid with First Class Coach led to the creation of the I-Ride Trolley service that continues to operate today, moving on average 1.5 million riders per year.
In 1998, the trolley service started with an eight-trolley fleet, serving a five-mile route, and the price to ride back then: 25 cents. The Trolley became a quick success, with 1.2 million riders in the first year of operation. At that time, First Class Coach Transportation was providing the service. However, since 2003, Mears Transportation has carried the bid for the Trolley providing the vehicles and drivers.
In the 25 years of operation, the I-Ride Trolley has expanded its service to include an 18-trolley fleet, 100 stops, two route lines, Green and Red; and has extended their service area to the now 14-mile route where trolleys run every day between 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. To enjoy this service, the cost to ride is $2 per ride for adults with discounts for children ages 3 to 9 and for seniors or $6 for a day pass. Additionally, employees of I-Drive Businesses still pay the original price of 25 cents to ride.
I-Ride Trolley continues to grow its ridership reaching over 650,000 riders in 2022, a significant rebound from ridership that dropped dramatically during the worst of the pandemic. In 2021, ridership reached a low of 72,000. However, the Trolley continued operations through increased safety measures and precautions allowing service to operate during this time.
In addition to being the unofficial mascot of International Drive, the I-Ride Trolley represents 25 years of connecting locals and visitors to the area, economic growth, and continued service to The District and its partners.
“For a quarter of a century, the I-Ride Trolley has not only connected visitors & convention guests to their destinations, but has also provided transportation to many of our Hotel and attraction employees to their jobs,” Mr. Harris Rosen, Rosen Hotels & Resorts says, “This is an important milestone worth celebrating in appreciation for all of our passengers, as well as our dedicated, hard-working drivers and District Staff. Over the past 25 years they have kept International Drive on track by providing the most equitable, accessible and affordable public transportation possible.”
"After two and a half decades, the central principle of moving people safely and timely in order to experience everything the tourism District has to offer remains as important to us as ever," said Ms. Sibille Pritchard, Chairwoman of the Advisory Board to the I-Drive Business Improvement District. "We are delighted that over the past 25 years we have supported our incredible base of both tourists and employees who are so critical to the success of ever-growing Orlando Tourism market."
The I-Drive District has released a new 25th-anniversary logo for the I-Ride Trolley Service to commemorate this special occasion, as well as invites you to visit the official websites below to discover more milestones accomplished in the 25 years of operation:
  • IDriveDistrict.com
  • IRideTrolley.com
Congratulations to Ms. Luann Brooks and the I-Drive District team that have contributed to the ongoing success of the I-Ride Trolley service.
Note to Editors: For questions, or for a link to the complete photo gallery of high-resolution photos, please email marketing@IDriveDistrict.com