MEMPHIS, Tenn (localmemphis.com) - All aboard!
In two weeks, you’ll be able to ride Memphis’ Main Street trolley again.
Memphis Area Transit Authority leaders announced Monday the April 30th return of the service and said the Riverfront and Madison Street lines aren’t far behind.
The relaunch of the trolley comes after months of extensive testing up and down the Main Street tracks and ends nearly four months of false starts and uncertainty about the trolley’s return.
"It's a great moment and something we should celebrate,” MATA CEO Gary Rosenfeld said.
The Main Street trolley is back on track and will again welcome passengers later this month on stops from A.W. Willis and Butler.
"We are excited to welcome the public back on the trolley system," Rosenfeld said.
Two separate trolley car fires in 2014 forced MATA shut down the trolley service indefinitely.
Nearly $10 million worth of investment later, transit leaders brought in new cars, new parts and a new vision.
"The work that went into these trolleys is almost superhuman, we are taking 100- year- old trolleys and refurbishing them,” Rosenfeld said.
MATA leaders said trolley operators and mechanics were re-trained and recertified and are ready to roll.
"We've committed to the safest trolley system in the country and we are well on the way in delivering that," Rosenfeld said.
For those in the South Main district, the return of the trolley fills a void and lifts a neighborhood.
Those who work and live in the area are hopeful the return of the trolley leads to a revival in downtown Memphis businesses.
"There's a lot of momentum and the trolleys are such an identifying aspect of the South Main area,” Eric Bourgeois of South Main Association said.
“It will be a great community building experience and people experiencing Memphis in a positive way,” Jazmin Withers said.
The Main Street trolley will be free from April 30th to May 14th and $1 each way after that.
MATA leaders expect the Riverfront trolley service to restart in 2019 and the Madison Street route sometime between late 2019 and early 2020.