As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reported Monday, Chicago Trolley & Double Decker conveyances were a visible presence downtown and at big events.
For 25 years, they brought a touch of jolly ‘ol England to the streets of Chicago: the red double-decker buses traveling to popular attractions. A tour guide narrating along the way.
“I did it already a couple of years ago, and really enjoyed it,” said Annie Hoffmann from Germany. She hopped on one today, too. So did Mike Holmes, who’s from Michigan.
“We learned a lot about the city coming around,” Hoffmann said.
But on New Year’s Eve the buses will come to a stop.
The word from the New Jersey-based parent company:
“It is with great sadness that Coach USA Chicago announced today the plan to cease operations for our Chicago trolley and Indiana Airport Supersaver businesses.”
The Indiana bus service brought passengers to Chicago’s airports.
“Coach USA thanks all of our Chicago and Indiana employees for their valued contributions over many years to the operation of these businesses.”
The decision to shut down the double-decker buses raises eyebrows.
“Here there are so many tourists. I don’t understand,” Hoffmann said.
When asked why the company was shutting down, a spokesperson would only say it was a “business decision.” No further explanation offered. One hundred fifty people will be out of work.
A company spokesperson said the employees were told three weeks ago.
The vehicles carried the Cubs and the Blackhawks through their enormous celebrations and served as ambassadors for a city that attracts a lot of visitors – like Bruce Drummond from South Africa.
“It’s sad cause it’s nice that people can visit the city and see the attractions,” Drummond said.
The company said people who bought tickets for rides after the new year will get full refunds.