A pair of old-fashioned trolleys is providing Savannah voters with rides to the polls.

Rebecca Rolfes boards a trolley that bears a banner announcing "riding to vote is free"
On Oct. 18, 2020, Rebecca Rolfes of the League of Women Voters of Coastal Georgia boards one of the trolleys the league has hired to transport voters to the polls in the Savannah area.
Credit: Emily Jones

Old-fashioned trolleys are ubiquitous in Savannah’s downtown historic district, offering tours to visitors. But this month, two trolleys are traveling through neighborhoods outside downtown with a different goal: encouraging and facilitating voting.

As record-breaking early voting turnout continues across Georgia, the League of Women Voters of Coastal Georgia has mounted this effort to make sure voters can get to the polls. Not having a ride is a major reason people give for not voting, according to League President Rebecca Rolfes.

On Sunday, Oct. 18, Rolfes stepped down from one of the trolleys and approached a small group of people outside an East Savannah church.

“We’re giving free rides to the polls,” she announced. “Anybody need one?” 

“No ma’am,” one parishioner replied. They’ve already voted, or plan to vote on Election Day, they explained. 

That’s the case at many of the local churches that serve as pickup locations for the trolleys. Rolfes said there’s been just a trickle of voters in need of a ride. 

“The fact of the matter is people need a good reason to vote,” she said. “They need good candidates. They need issues that they care about that matter to them. And if you give them that, they'll get there. They'll find a way to get there.”

But even without riders, Rolfes said, the trolleys serve as big, rolling billboards reminding people to vote. They’ll continue offering rides until the end of early voting Friday, Oct. 30.