Original release courtesy of the League of Oregon Cities

EUGENE, Ore. – During its 98th Annual Conference Friday, the League of Oregon Cities (LOC) presented its 2023 Award for Excellence to the cities of Monmouth and Independence for the “M-I Trolley” program. The award recognizes progressive and innovative city operations and services. This year, the LOC’s Excellence Award was presented to co-recipients, with the city of Albany also winning for its biosolids composting project. Additionally, city manager Kenna West was reappointed as a board of director for the third year in a row and, as of January 2024, will become senior city manager serving on the executive committee.

About the “M-I Trolley”

The Monmouth-Independence Trolley launched in April of 2023, and more than 52,000 people have taken a ride during its first six months of operation — vastly exceeding expectations. At first, it was estimated that six riders per hour would be a success. But in the first six months of operation, the trolley has averaged 14 riders per hour – more than half of the vehicle’s capacity. Riders from all ages and backgrounds, including residents, visitors, and those with mobility challenges have used the trolley for all the purposes the two cities hoped they would. They are using this free service to shop, play, and enjoy restaurants and concerts. It has truly changed the geography for these two communities and continues to be used in ways local leaders did not expect. Riders in both cities have expressed their relief in having transportation to attend doctor’s appointments, stating if it wasn’t for this method of transportation, they would not be able to see their doctor. The M-I Trolley has provided a level of personal freedom to community residents, including those with mobility challenges, that allows them to maintain their health, happiness, and connection to their community.

About the League of Oregon Cities

Founded in 1925, the LOC is a voluntary association representing all 241 of Oregon’s incorporated cities. The League helps city governments serve their citizens by providing legislative services, policy setting, intergovernmental relations, conferences and training, technical assistance and publications.

# # #