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St. Clair County Transit District begins trolley service on base

Parked Trolley

St. Clair County Transit District’s new trolley provides transportation to and from the Shiloh-Scott MetroLink Station and around the base at the designated bus stops.

Man rings bell on trolley

At a ceremony on May 24, 2021, Maj. Ryan Hengel, commander, 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron, rings the trolley bell to signal the start of service.

Plaque of fallen Airman

On the inside of the trolley, there is a plaque to honor service members. The first to be recognized is Airman 1st Class Zachary Cuddeback, who was killed in action in 2011 at Frankfort International Airport, Germany.

Scott Air Force Base, Ill. -- St. Clair County Transit District is offering a new trolley service on Scott Air Force Base. The trolley replaces the Metro buses that transported passengers to and from the Shiloh-Scott MetroLink Station and the district’s on base bus stops.

Marked by its distinct cable car design, the top of the trolley includes images of Scott’s current and historical aircraft from the C-21 to a dirigible. On the inside, there is a plaque to honor servicemembers.

The first servicemember to be recognized is Airman 1st Class Zachary Cuddeback, an Air Force vehicle operator who was killed in the line of duty in 2011 during a shooting at Frankfort International Airport. Cuddeback, whose dad also served in the military, was born on Scott AFB.

At a May 24 ceremony to mark the start of the trolley service, St. Clair County Transit District’s managing director Ken Sharkey said, “Scott AFB personnel, both military and civilian, sustain and nourish our growing region. In 1917, when Scott came into existence, St. Clair County’s population was about 130,000 people. As the base expanded its missions through the decades, St. Clair County also grew and more than doubled in population.

“The service men and women assigned here arrive from all parts of America,” said Sharkey.  “Many of them plant roots in our communities. In fact, I’m with you here today as a direct result of the existence of this Air Force base. My father, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, of Irish immigrants had a full career serving in the Air Force. Dad served in many posts around the world and the U.S. Of the many assigned posts, this base was his favorite. My parents raised four children here and St. Clair County became our permanent home.

“This story is not uncommon. It’s been repeated many times,” said Sharkey. “This trolley is a small gesture to say thank you to the men and women who serve here.”

Col. Jason Glynn, commander of the 375th Mission Support Group, said the trolley is a visual reminder of the partnerships between the base and the surrounding communities. “Most importantly, though, is the acknowledgement of the ultimate sacrifice made by Airman Cuddeback,” he said. “We thank the county for this gesture.”

Trolley rides are $1. The trolley is wheelchair accessible and has a bike rack. For more information on bus routes and schedules, go to the transit district’s Web site at www.scctd.org.