Tram transport service aims to alleviate parking problems on Père Marquette Beach in Muskegon

MUSKEGON, MI – A new transportation service to Père Marquette Beach will make it easier for visitors to reach The Deck restaurant as well as elsewhere on the waterfront.

Starting this weekend, Shoreline Shuttle will be offering free trolley service from a less popular parking lot near Lake Muskegon to The Deck. The service will help alleviate the problem of trying to find parking on the busy beach, said David Ramos, co-owner of Shoreline Shuttle.

“Last weekend we were at The Deck with some friends, and they had a hard time finding a place to park,” Ramos told MLive.

The 18-seater streetcar will run approximately every 30 to 45 minutes between the Harbor Towne Beach town lot and The Deck, Ramos said. The hours will be from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

If there is enough demand, Ramos said he would continue the service throughout the summer.

Rides are free, although tips are encouraged. Visitors without an annual pass must pay to park on the Harbor Towne Beach lot, but those visiting The Deck may have the $ 5 charge removed from their restaurant bill.

A big expansion to The Deck which opened this season has increased the number of visitors to the already popular beachfront hot spot.

Finding an open parking space nearby has sometimes proved difficult, posing particular difficulties for people with mobility problems. The Harbor Towne Beach lot, with approximately 120 parking spaces, often has free space, but is about half a mile from Lake Michigan.

Shoreline Shuttle operates two surface trams, one of which is owned by the city of Muskegon, Ramos said. He also has small transport buses and eventually hopes to provide rides from downtown Lakeside to the beach.

However, Ramos said the corporate buy-in that he would need at least some support for was lukewarm.

Future rides at Pere Marquette might also depend on help from The Deck, and he might also contact Dockers Fish House and the USS Silversides Submarine Museum to gauge interest, Ramos said.

Shoreline Shuttle already offers free Saturday rides to the Muskegon Farmers Market for residents of apartments such as Bay View Towers and Jefferson Towers. These free rides are sponsored by Ramos and Sons Auto Body, of which Ramos is a co-owner.

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