CHICAGO — Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co., which carried thousands of sightseeing tourists through the city and played a role in several citywide celebrations, will offer its last ride Dec. 31.
Coach USA, the Paramus, N.J.-based transportation service company that owns the fleet of San Francisco-style trolleys, said it will cease operations of both the trolley business and the Indiana Airport SuperSaver business. The trolleys have operated in the city for more than 25 years.
Sean Hughes, Coach USA North America director of corporate affairs, said it was a “business decision” to shutter the trolley and airport transportation service. Hughes declined to comment further.
Some 150 employees will be affected by the closures, Hughes said.
Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co., founded in 1994, took visitors on sightseeing tours of local landmarks. The trolleys operated a “hop on hop off” service where riders could board and get off at 12 different locations downtown. The company also rented its tourism vehicles out for events and parades.
The trolleys have played a role in some iconic Chicago moments.
Shutting down parts of Magnificent Mile to celebrate the first show of her 24th season on air, Oprah Winfrey rode on top of one of the company’s double-decker buses during a street party broadcasting her show.
The Cubs traveled from Wrigley Field to Grant Park atop double-decker buses from Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co. in a parade celebrating the team’s Word Series triumph in 2016. The Blackhawks also used the trolley and double-decker service for the Stanley Cup parades in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
The other line of business that’s being shuttered — the Indiana Airport SuperSaver shuttle — provided rides to O’Hare International and Midway International airports from Michigan City, Portage, and Highland, Ind., and from Crestwood, Ill.
Hughes said Megabus, an intercity bus service that is also operated by Coach USA, will continue to operate in the Chicago area, including its service from the University of Notre Dame to and from O’Hare and Midway airports on weekends and major school breaks.
The company is asking customers with tickets for trolley tours after Dec. 31 to call 773-648-5000 to request a refund. The number can be reached between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday.