Courtesy of: The Morning News
By: Rosalie Klein
Aruba’s new solar-powered tram was seen on the streets on Tuesday, February 12 for a dry run, and Arubus Director Theo Croes promised the public the tram will be up and running either today or tomorrow, Friday, February 15.
The tram route begins by the Cruise Ship Terminal on the outskirts of Oranjestad, taking visitors through to the main street of Caya G. F. Betico Croes for some of the best shopping and easy access to historical sites.
Stops along the way will be in Rancho, by the ARINA Building behind the bus station, Plaza Museo, adjacent to Fort Zoutman, Plaza Chipi Chipi, in front of La Moderna store, the water tower, Plaza Nicky, by the CMB Bank, Seaport Mall and Royal Plaza Mall.
The tram is modified with a hydraulic lift to accommodate wheelchairs and the disabled. It runs strictly on solar power, and will cost pennies to operate. This will provide much more convenient access for cruise ship passengers to the center of town. Also shoppers can now park outside of Oranjestad or behind the bus terminal and access the far eastern areas of Oranjestad without hunting for parking. It is expected this will ease the traffic through the city.
The tram will operate six days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM. Cost for a ride is only $1.
Staff from Arubus, which operates the tram, remarked on one problem they noticed during Tuesday’s dry run. Island motorists must be more conscious of the tram being up and running.
There was a notable tendency to park in places that will interfere with its operation; some cars found directly across the tracks. The tram is also wider than the tracks, so motorists must allow at least a five foot margin on either side when parking near the tram tracks.
This can become a serious problem interfering with the tram’s efficient operation, and Arubus has requested the Department of Public Works, (DOW) to paint yellow lines and place warning signs. This is not expect to be completed before the tram begins operation, so visitors to town should take care when parking their car anywhere near the tracks.