VOL. 133 | NO. 77 | Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Trolleys Return to Main Street at End of April
By Bill Dries
MATA CEO Gary Rosenfeld and COO Alvin Pearson announced Monday, the trolleys will return to Main Street April 30 after a nearly four-year absence. (Daily News/Bill Dries)
The Main Street trolley returns to service April 30, the Memphis Area Transit Authority announced Monday, April 16.
Three restored trolley cars will go into service at the end of April almost four years after MATA stopped all trolley service on all three lines – Main, Riverfront and Madison following a pair of fires on two trolleys while they were carrying passengers.
No one was injured in either fire. But the fire exposed a system of little to no maintenance, training and record keeping.
The transit authority’s review would also show that old trolleys restored in the early 1990s for the debut of the trolley system had reached the end of their use.
MATA CEO Gary Rosenfeld estimated complete restoration of the trolleys and the purchase of some new vintage trolley along with creating a new infrastructure for the operation and care of the trolleys cost around $10 million.
“It’s been worth the wait,” Rosenfeld said.
The trolleys will run with three cars initially, on a half-hour schedule Sunday through Thursday and a 20-minute schedule Fridays and Saturdays.
The trolleys will operate for free until May 14 and then the fare will be $1. Three more trolley cars will be added to service during May. All of the cars, some of them 100 years old, will have been refurbished to a new 25-year life.
Rosenfeld said service to the Riverfront Loop and on Madison Avenue will be restored in 2019 and 2020 respectively.