A familiar sound is about to make its return to the Wildwoods boardwalk
Photo Caption: Wildwoods Business District
"Watch The Tram Car Please!"
That famous saying will be sounding on the Wildwoods Boardwalk soon — a sign of summer at the Jersey Shore for the past 72 years.
The Wildwoods Boardwalk tram cars will begin rolling up and down the boards for the 2021 summer season starting at 11 a.m. Friday, May 7.
Patrick Rosenello, executive director of The Wildwoods Boardwalk's Special Improvement District, said the trams will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to about 10 p.m. through mid-June before flipping over to seven days a week.
The tram cars have always had a dual purpose. It was transportation out of either necessity or just pure enjoyment. Families, elderly people and those with disabilities get the opportunity to see and enjoy the Wildwoods boardwalk while riding on these electric tram cars.
Rosenello said the tram car is the best way to travel from end to end of the boardwalk and experience all the sights along the way. In a normal season like in 2019, there were about 600,000 riders on the tram cars during the summer.
In 2020, for customers' safety, the tram cars were fitted with plexiglass barriers between cars. The cars were sprayed twice an hour with disinfectant and the staff wore masks. Most of those protocols will remain in place for the 2021 season.
However, there is some direction from CDC that shows that spraying of disinfectant, especially in an outdoor setting, has not really shown to be effective. He said once there is more formal guidance on this, spraying of disinfectants on the tram cars may stop.
The cost to ride the famous Wildwoods tram car is $4 each way, which is about a half-hour ride in each direction. But there are lots of ways to pay for your rides and save money. The cashless and touchless Wildwoods Tram Car app is available for download at the Google Play Store and the Apple App store. Riders will get their first ride on the tram car free when they make a purchase. Discounted tickets can also be purchased at the Cresse Avenue Tram Car store or the 16th Avenue Tram Car Kiosk and at all amusement pier ticket booths.
This is the only tram car system on a Jersey Shore boardwalk in existence. Rosenello said the tram cars were built for the 1939 Worlds Fair in New York City. Then in 1949, a local Wildwoods business owner brought them to the boardwalk and converted them for this use.
"We actually still have some of the original 1939 Worlds Fair trams operating, which makes them one of the oldest continually operating public transportation systems in the country," said Rosenello.
He expects this to be a very busy summer in the Wildwoods, adding that bookings at area motels and hotels have been off the charts.