MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - With millions of people coming in and out of Myrtle Beach every year, busy spots like Ocean Boulevard can get absolutely packed. If you don't have a rental car or a cab isn't around the corner, getting from place to place can be tough.
That's why Myrtle Beach Planning Director Jack Walker wants to get innovative.
"We've got to be more sophisticated and more aggressive in how we transport people around," said Walker.
What's his sophisticated and aggressive idea? A trolley system.
He says more than 40 cities around the country already have some type of trolley or light rail and the results are remarkable. One shining example of the success of these systems is Portland Oregon.
"Their street cars have created several billion dollars' worth of investment," said Walker. "They've tied academic facilities, offices, they've created housing, and they've opened up redevelopment areas that were blighted."
Walker believes Myrtle Beach would benefit the same way. While his plans are big, the city would have to start small. His first phase would be to create a trolley system connecting places like Broadway at the beach and the convention center to hotels on Ocean Boulevard.
It would have to be privately funded, but it the city could prove its worth, the sky is the limit.
"It creates a record that you could then approach the federal transit administration and South Carolina department of transportation for matching future funds for future extensions," said Walker.
In his wildest dreams, those extensions would interconnect all of Myrtle Beach. Walker hopes it would make the city more walker friendly, which in turn could help foot traffic in local stores along with the health of those shopping?.