New tour offers taste of old and new Brooklyn
by Andrew Pavia
Jul 31, 2012 | 2398 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pictured from left to right are Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, Syron Martin, and Borough President Marty Markowitz .
Pictured from left to right are Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, Syron Martin, and Borough President Marty Markowitz .
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A tour guide in Brooklyn is stepping back in time by using trolleys that were a popular form of transportation in the borough in the 1930s. However, the trolleys used in Brooklyn Trolley Tours only look like the real thing.

Owner Syron Martin said that customers will ride on busses that “look like trolleys,” both inside and out. Armed with a fleet of two trolleys and a mini-bus, this start-up is trying to change the way tours are conducted in Brooklyn. The company has only been operational since the first week of June making it another new small business in the Brooklyn area.

Martin has three years of experience with a tour guide group based in Manhattan and chose to start his own business in an attempt to introduce people to the borough of Brooklyn.

When asked why he decided to leave Manhattan, Martin said that Brooklyn, “has some of the best restaurants, theaters, art, music and people that New York City has to offer.”

He wants to show tourists areas that have been neglected by other tour groups. “I show the world my side of Brooklyn,” Martin said.

He was critical of the other guides because they don't stop and let customers experience Brooklyn. Instead of just a bus ride, the trolley lets people off at locations like the New York Transit Museum, Jolie Cantina and the Shmorgasburg Flea Market.

Two of the first Brooklynites to ride the trolley were Borough President Marty Markowitz and Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who took a brief tour from Borough Hall to the New York Transit Museum.

The new business has only three full-time staff members other than Martin. “You don't need much,” he said, “just perseverance and a good tour guide.”

The three-hour tour begins and ends in Time Square every day at 2 p.m. and can take up to 34 people at one time. Martin hopes to move the entirety of the tour to Brooklyn one day, as well as extend the route into the neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Crown Heights, and Midwood to show customers “how beautiful Brooklyn is.”

Another idea that Martin is looking into is taking people to Coney Island for the day. For that trip, however, Martin wants to rent out a double-decker bus because he expects a large turnout.

Customers can buy tickets on the Brooklyn Trolley Tour Guide website or contact them through their Facebook page.

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