MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -
Trolley night along Main Street was underway tonight, and the popular monthly event usually brings hundreds if not thousands of people to the South Main Historic Arts District.
Today was a little different though because visitors got a chance to see one of the new trolley buses that will be rolled out in the coming months.
These gas fueled, rubber-wheeled vehicles built to look like the old replicas cost more than $140,000 each. Despite what appears to be a high price tag, FOX13 was told it is a cheaper alternative to the steel-wheeled vintage cars that are out of service because of safety concerns after two caught fire.
FOX13 asked MATA President and General Manager Ron Garrison when the old trolley cars will return. He said not until spring of 2016, and not all at once because of the cost and safety upgrades.
"This is a step in getting our original steel wheeled trolleys back into service," MATA President and GM Ron Garrison said. "But these are fun. They are exciting. You go inside they have the wood and the brass just like the authentic old fashioned trolleys, and we are going to put these into service until we get the steel wheeled back."
MATA plans to have eight of these new vehicles servicing passengers along the Main Street, Riverside Drive and Madison by the fall.