Pedal Party: South Bend gets its first pedal trolley

Published: May. 5, 2023 at 6:45 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Where is the intersection of fun and exercise? It’s right here in South Bend, as today marks The Jumpoff Pedal Trolley’s ribbon-cutting and maiden voyage as the city’s first pedal trolley.

It took a partnership to bring this business together, and it will undoubtedly take teamwork to keep the trolley moving forward.

Tiarra Hammond and Rhonda Douglas had a vision for what kind of business they wanted to own, something that brings people together to have fun and laugh.

“The Jumpoff is a social experience; you’re able to create memories, you’re able to have a good time, and you’re able to encompass the local restaurants and bar area,” says Tiarra Hammond, Co-Owner of The Jumpoff Pedal Trolley. “You’re able to jump back on and continue the ride.”

They tell 16 News Now that they got the idea from visiting other cities and seeing how pedal trolleys can create fun memories for family, friends, and colleagues.

“And it’s just fun,” says Rhonda Douglas, Co-Owner of The Jumpoff Pedal Trolley. “We like to go and experience new things. Tiarra is a world traveler, and she enjoys being able to talk with the locals at the same time (while) also experiencing the culture of the city, and this is a whole culture. We’re bringing something that a lot of people have experienced in other, bigger cities, but we believe South Bend is ready, and we want you guys to come on and jump on and ‘Jumpoff’ with us.”

Mayor James Mueller was on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and even got to experience the Jumpoff’s first trip.

“It’s always exciting to see a new venture here in South Bend and to see our entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams, and behind me, this is going to bring some fun to the city as well, and not only is it a new business and venture, but it’s also fun for the community,” says Mayor James Mueller (D), South Bend.

Hammond and Douglas are preparing for a busy summer but are already looking forward to the expansion.

“That is the plan, and that is the goal; to get more bikes and expand; to Mishawaka, maybe Elkhart and Goshen area,” Hammond said. “So, as I said, this is only the beginning, and we have a whole future ahead of us; more things to come.”

And before “hitting the street pedaling,” they expressed their commitment to showcasing South Bend’s culture to tourists.

“Something different and unique,” Hammond said. “We don’t have anything like this in our area, and I think it will cater to natives for something different but also cater to tourists coming into the area.”

The Jumpoff Pedal Trolley has 15 cup holders, but per Indiana law, alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the trolley.

“We will have add-ons for the ride so that you can have a prepackaged quick snack on the trolley,” Hammond said.

A CDL (commercial driver’s license) is required for the driver to operate the trolley, but the city might revisit this in the future to make it similar to rental car rules.

“The rides are two hours long, and there are three 30-minute stops,” Douglas said. “They will jump on, jump off, and get a quick bite to eat or drink. Some of the local businesses may have Jumpoff specials, and our riders will have wristbands. It’s going to be a fantastic time.”

Douglas also touched on the potential of advertising on the trolley.

“Other businesses will have an opportunity to get in touch with us for advertising; this is a moving billboard,” Douglas said.

The Jumpoff Pedal Trolley can be booked through their website, and depending on which tour your group decides on, the pickup location will vary.

To book The Jumpoff Pedal Trolley, click here.