Dallas — New Car Added to Heritage Fleet
McKinney Avenue Transit Authority [MATA], the operator of the heritage streetcar line at Dallas, is adding another car to its fleet following its full restoration. The former Dallas Railway & Terminal Co. streetcar will be painted in authentic cream and red livery, the Dallas Morning News reports.
The car is a restoration of a 1926 streetcar body known as a "Peter Witt" car, named after the Cleveland transit commissioner who designed cars with a front door and center exit, manned by a two man crew consisting of a motorman operating the car and a conductor seated in front of the center doors and collecting fares. The center door was enclosed and the conductor eliminated in a cost saving measure in Dallas years ago, but the Peter Witt name persisted up until the end of streetcar service in the 1950s.
The body of this car, stripped of mechanical components, was acquired by the son of a former Dallas Railway & Terminal president who used it as a play area for his children until he donated it to MATA. The car is named "Betty," after the donor's wife.
The restoration was carried out in part by contractors off-site and in part by MATA workers in Dallas. It features running gear or trucks like the ones the car had originally. However, MATA constructed a modern electronic control system to save energy and maintenance cost. The restoration cost is $450,000, covered in part by the nonprofit Downtown Dallas Inc. and the CityPlace Area TIF, a taxing district that funds neighborhood projects.
The large car will add capacity to the line which has benefited from growing ridership since the opening of Klyde Warren Park in 2012. Annual ridership is estimated at 433,000 and is expected to grow when the extension to Olive Street is opened in October.