By Lauren Chavez and Anel Ceballos-Caldera, Oct. 12, 2021
The Poly Trolley is set to roll back on campus for a grand reopening on Nov. 5, serving new menu items with more variety and a new look. Students can expect a grand opening event with balloons and giveaways, showcasing the new Poly Trolley.
The food truck will return branded as Poly Trolley 2 after the original campus staple was crushed by a eucalyptus tree March 2020.
According to Dining Services Director Aaron Neilson, Poly Trolley 2 is a better version from the old, yet not forgotten, original Poly Trolley.
“This one is going to focus on Latino fusion style bowls and tacos,” said Neilson. “We’ve had a high request for some of the favorites from the old Poly Trolley, and so, you’ll see that in the tacos; you’ll see that in some of the other items.”
Poly Trolley 2 will feature aguas frescas such as Jamaica and horchata — refreshments the previous Poly Trolley did not have — and will be incorporating a secret menu like fast-food chain In-N-Out, in which students can order food items not promoted on the menu.
“I’m so excited,” said Illy Montes, biological sciences credential student. “The Poly Trolley was honestly a place where my fiancé and I would go to eat to splurge. Normally we don’t eat on campus, but when we wanted to eat something good, we would splurge and get the Poly Trolley.”
Although there are new items to look forward to, the new Poly Trolley will no longer feature Starbucks drinks as part of its menu.
Along with the updated menu and features, the Poly Trolley will accept Bronco Bucks and introduce mobile ordering for students to place their orders in advance through the online ordering and delivery platform GrubHub for quicker service. The ordering changes were made in an effort by Campus Dining to minimize crowds and to encourage social distancing.
With COVID-19 as a continued concern for the campus, the Poly Trolley’s small, enclosed working space has stirred modifications to ensure student employees’ safety.
“This new Poly Trolley is better in that regard in that instead of enclosed air-conditioned units, it has these big panels; it has four of them about 6-feet-wide by 4-feet-wide,” said Neilson. “So, essentially, the entire roof opens up, creating really great air circulation.”
According to Retail Dining Manager Rosa Morales, Poly Trolley employees will continue to follow Los Angeles County COVID-19 guidelines such as always wearing masks, frequently changing gloves and consistently washing and sanitizing their hands.
All workers are required to complete a daily health screener before setting foot on the Poly Trolley. Workers exempted from the California State University’s vaccination mandate must follow Cal Poly Pomona’s COVID-19 policies, which requires anyone unvaccinated to be tested weekly.
Even with the updated air circulation, student workers will inevitably bump elbows. Since the Poly Trolley 2 will have a limited amount of space, only about three to four workers can be present at a time during their two-hour shifts; there are at least a dozen workers as of now.
According to Neilson, during the pandemic there were hardly any applicants. However, when students returned to campus, the applications started flooding in. Currently, student workers have only trained for a couple of days and are preparing for the reopening of Poly Trolley 2.
“Our students have been our savior on our campus. We’ve always been a huge employer of students,” said Neilson. “Thank you, students, thank you.”
Poly Trolley 2 will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Olive Lane Walk near the University Library from Monday to Friday. For more information, students can visit the Poly Trolley 2 website.
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