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Ocean City Council Votes to Suspend Tram Service for 2020 Season

The Ocean City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to suspend the Boardwalk tram service for the remainder of the 2020 season. This comes after the Ocean City Transportation Committee voted to recommend the suspension during their meeting on July 7th 

The debate over whether the tram would hit the boards has persisted throughout the summer. As many restrictions were lifted across the state, town officials continued to hold off on making a final decision due to coronavirus concerns. Now, with an uptick in cases proving that the fight against COVID-19 is all but over, the Ocean City Mayor and Council have decided that the tram must remain shut down.  

When kicking off the tram discussion, Mayor Rick Meehan cited several concerns that would arise if the service were to resume operations, including the feasibility of social distancing and the enforcement of masks. The mayor added that if the number of people allowed to ride the tram was reduced, families may be separated, which would cause an additional string of problems.  

Councilmember John Gehrig said the major concern is having tram drivers be responsible for enforcing mask regulations. He said, “I’m generally in favor of running the trams… My biggest concern is having our tram drivers enforcing masks… Some people are very compliant and other people consider it an attack on their liberty and have taken it to another level. I just don’t know if I want to put our tram personnel in the face of hostile people who refuse to participate and wear a mask.”  

Council President Lloyd Martin and Council Secretary Mary Knight also discussed the difficulties of enforcing mask regulations and concluded that imposing this burden on tram drivers is simply unfair and impossible.   

This decision does not come without a cost. If the tram were able to operate this summer, it would have brought in an estimated $600,000. To offset the losses, town officials are hoping to receive federal grants, however, they do not currently have information on how much funding the town is eligible for. 

Logan Dubel
Logan Dubel
Logan Dubel is a contributor for OceanCity.com and the host of "This Week in Ocean City." He is a Baltimore County native, Franklin High School graduate, and an undergraduate journalism and media student at the University of Texas at Austin. He joined the OceanCity.com team in June 2020. On the shore, he has also served as a writer at the Art League of Ocean City and the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum. Logan has a strong passion for covering the news and its impact on Marylanders. Since arriving at OceanCity.com, he has covered the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, interviewed newsmakers including former First Lady Yumi Hogan, Mayor Rick Meehan, and members of the City Council, featured local businesses, and covered local events. As a collegiate journalist, Logan also works as a Life and Arts Reporter for The Daily Texan and an anchor/reporter for Texas Student Television. Most recently, he anchored live coverage of the 2022 Midterm Elections and reported from the CMT Music Awards Red Carpet. Have a story idea? Contact logan@oceancity.com.

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