Nickel Trolleys Transportation
companies facilitated Newport's growth, transforming the town
from a fashionable resort into a popular destination for people of all classes.
Newport's trolley lines facilitated this development.
Opening Newport to the Masses
July 1889, the Newport Street Railway opened Rhode Island's first
electric street car on Commercial Wharf.  The company soon
found that the line could not accommodate the numbers of summer travelers
attempting to use the new trolleys to get to Easton's Beach.
answer the increased demand for service, the City Council constructed
spurs along its original routes to lengthen the line and offer
service to other areas. The crowds responded, as an article in
the August 31, 1889, edition of the Newport
the old Colony Railroad is bringing from Boston the largest
excursion of the season. At noon Friday, 3,000 tickets had
been sold. 60 to 70 cars will be required to haul the patrons.
Yesterday, two excursions came in. One was from the Providence
division and the other from the new road between Randolph
and Somerset. Wednesday, the Old Colony brought in a large
excursion from Plymouth and vicinity in 27 cars.' —
'The street cars continue to do a rushing business, thousands
of passengers being carried every day. Last Sunday was the
company's busiest day. Over 9,000 fares were collected on
the two lines, the Broadway route alone turning in about
1893, electric trolleys ran from Commercial Wharf and Broadway
to Easton's Beach, Morton Park, and Middletown. The fare was
5 cents and included passage anywhere on the lines. Newport's
trolley lines were short, and trolleys could go no faster than
10 miles per hour through town. As a result, there were sometimes
long waits for cars at the ends of routes. 
Connecting the Rest of Rhode Island Newport's trolley system continued to grow in response to
the summer tourist demand. A trolley line between Fall River
and Newport opened in June 1898, maintained by the Newport
and Fall River Street Railway Company. Other lines were added
to the Naval Training Station and War College through Farewell,
Walnut, and Third Streets.
June 1904, the Newport and Providence Street Railway connected
Newport with Providence via Bristol Ferry. The
timing of the trip was as follows: 45 minutes from Washington
Square in Newport to the ferry, 20 minutes on the ferry, then
another 45 minutes from Bristol to Providence. The trolley
ride to Bristol Ferry was 20 cents. The ferry was 10 cents.
At 2.25 hours, this became the shortest route from Providence
to Newport. 
By June 1913, Newport was connected to street car lines in
other cities through its Stone Bridge route to Fall River.
The trolley system reported 1913 as a profitable year.
Leisure Along the Lines
crowds of summer travelers came to Newport in the early 1900s,
and trolley car traffic was heavy.
Some streetcar companies offered leisure activities off their
routes to attract these customers. The Newport and Fall River
Street Railway Company established Portsmouth's Island Park,
a mini beach amusement park that featured a dancing pavilion,
a bathing beach, a merry-go-round, and a roller coaster. Newport
followed suit in 1913, adding a boardwalk and its own line of
amusements at Easton's Beach, which it advertised in guidebooks.