Christian Contreras | The Poly Post

The Poly Trolley 2 has a ‘baby’: CPP Foundation Dining Services launches The Poly Trolley Express

By Christian Contreras, September 26, 2023

Look out Broncos! There’s a new Poly Trolley in town.

CPP Foundation Dining Services debuted the Poly Trolley Express this semester as a new option for the campus community to stop and grab some treats.

Located in the breezeway of the Student Services Building, the “baby” of the Poly Trolley 2 serves breakfast burritos, quick bites, beverages and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf drip coffee Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The big difference is timing,” said Steven Soto, an electrical engineering student who works at the Poly Trolley Express. “At the other Poly Trolley, you can see a queue waiting in line and here, you just order, and we give you your order in less than ten seconds.”

In business for only a couple of weeks, members of the campus community have already stopped to check out the new Poly Trolley.

“I think this one is pretty cool because it’s quicker, smaller, the items are more portable and you don’t have to wait for food,” said Inri Perez, a criminology student.

Students say the Poly Trolley Express is a good option for people who are hungry but pressed for time.

“This is so much more convenient,” said Annie Elvira Mendoza, an art history student. “It’s a grab-and-go situation, which is what I need with how busy I am.”

In development for a year, the Poly Trolley Express was created  because of the lack of mobile food options on campus.

“We wanted something really nimble that had good, wholesome hot food as well as coffee and some snacks and drinks and that sort of thing that we could deploy easily,” said Foundation Dining Services Director Aaron P. Neilson.

For environmental biology student Cassandra Vivas, the goal to serve hot food quickly looks to have been met.

“I thought it was great,” said Vivas. “It’s super convenient. As I was passing by, I remember thinking, ‘Man I’m hungry,’ and just the fact that it had food ready, and it was quick. It was literally less than five minutes and then I continued on with my day. Especially when I’m busy and I have multiple classes, other things or programs to do, it is nice to be able to grab something and walk.”

Proteins that are offered for breakfast include carne asada, vegan Soyrizo and the classic egg, bacon, cheese and hash brown burrito. For lunch, chicken and beef are offered. However, more proteins will be offered in the future.

Kristopher Arguin, executive chef for Cal Poly Pomona Enterprises, is the one who created the recipes for the burritos and has plans to incorporate new proteins.

“I have unlimited amounts of ideas for different combinations we can do for the Poly Trolley Express,” said Arguin. “It’s just getting it off the ground to start and show people you know; we’re making this stuff from scratch – everything. So they’re going to see the quality.”

All the burritos are made fresh daily at Centerpointe, and the corn salsa that comes with the lunch burritos are made with the corn from the farm on campus.

The new Poly Trolley’s all-electric design is another unique feature.

“The technology on this cart really excited me,” said Neilson. “In years past, carts like that, if you had a warmer on them or anything that consumed electricity, you needed to find a place to plug it in so that you could run it. This one has a big bank of lithium-ion batteries that will keep the refrigeration and the oven on the cart warm for up to eight hours at a charge without being plugged in, including the cash register system – the entire thing, so it’s self-contained.”

Due to its all-electric design, the trolley is very quiet when it is in motion. As a result, the driver must maintain extremely low speeds to avoid pedestrians.

Ruthie Johns, another student who works at the Poly Trolley Express, shared what drivers have done to get students’ attention.

“This one is kind of scary because it’s so quiet,” said Johns. “You’ll pass somebody, and they’ll just be on their phone about to walk into the sign. One of my other co-workers said they were playing ice cream music.”

The Poly Trolley Express has plans to be more accessible in the evenings and at other locations.

Christian Contreras | The Poly Post

Feature images courtesy of Christian Contreras 

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