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Tlaquepaque Village

The holiday season has seen more and more riders on the RoadRunner trolleys, from local students on a quest for ice cream to passengers getting to holiday events.
By Ella Garrett
Larson Newspapers
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Decked out in tinsel and red velvet bows, with wreaths wired to their grills and “Happy Holidays” blazing from their marquees, the Sedona RoadRunner trolleys look like giant Christmas ornaments humming around town, making them mobile additions to the Sedona’s holiday regalia.

The holiday season has seen more and more riders on the RoadRunner trolleys, from local students on a quest for ice cream to passengers getting to holiday events.

Driver Mark Minisquero glides his trolley into the RoadRunner stop in front of The Shops at Piñon Point. With 180-degree views, it’s not a bad spot to kill the 10 minutes between trolley pick-ups.

For the moment, Minisquero’s trolley is just transporting fresh air. He’s only had 13 riders today. But ridership picks up during the evening hours after people get off work.

During community events, like the Festival of Lights at Tlaquepaque arts and crafts village, riding the trolley is a bit like stuffing people into a clown car.

“We had something like 500 riders for the lights at Tlaquepaque,” Minisquero said. “That’s 60 per bus. We’re only supposed to have 25.”

At Tlaquepaque’s shady stop, he picks up three teenage girls who are regular riders. Krista Bredemeier, 14, rides the trolley home from Sedona Red Rock High School everyday because she said it is faster than riding the school bus. Today, she and her friends are taking Sedona’s free transportation up to Cold Stone Creamery.

Her friend Sierra Jones, another 14-year-old freshman at SRRHS, likes riding the trolleys because, “It’s more interesting [than the school bus] because it’s a trolley,” she says.

“You can certainly see it coming down the road,” Bredemeier says.

At the Sedona Municipal Parking lot, three local performers board the trolley. They’re rushing to get to practice for the Pilgrimage to Bethlehem at Tlaquepaque.

Sisters Corrina, 8, and Arianna, 6, Coll scramble past the tinsel-wrapped handrails to the back seat in matching pink jackets and red hats. Corrina Coll will be a servant to one of the three Wise Men and Arianna will be a pilgrim at the ancient Bethlehem market. Their mother, Karen Coll, is going to be a drummer and a folk dancer. The Colls always use the trolley to get to practice.

“It is absolutely, definitely more convenient,” says Karen Coll. “Parking is such a big issue down there. I live right in Uptown so we just jump on the trolley.”

At the Hozho Center, driver Bill Green takes over. Like Minisquero, Green once worked as a school bus driver, so driving a trolley was an easy career change. And if a fire was to break out along the way, he’d know what to do. Green is also a fireman for the Clarkdale Fire District.

“It’s great. I can work my 24-hour shift at the fire station, do four shifts here and still have two days off with my wife,” he says.

Like all the trolley drivers, Green attended a Sedona Chamber of Commerce-sponsored class to learn about timeshares, restaurants and all the things Sedona has to offer so he can answer questions visitors ask.

“If I don’t know the answer,” he says, “I have a radio and I can always find out.”

Until the Uptown Enhancement Project is completed, the trolleys are running a deviated route, so don’t trust the map on the pale yellow RoadRunner signs around town.

Currently, stops are at Pink Jeep in Uptown, at the Sedona Municipal Parking Lot on Apple Avenue, in front of The Shops at Piñon Point, in front of Tlaquepaque and at Hillside Sedona.

The trolleys run from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. everyday. For more information about the Sedona RoadRunner transit service, call 282-0938.


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