Memphis — New Cars Sought
Memphis Area Transit Authority [MATA] board members met on April 27 and heard a presentation from the agency about why the idled heritage fleet should be replaced, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported. The cost would be $32.2 million over five years with $11.3 million budgeted by the mayor for Fiscal 2016. "... the MATA staff wants to purchase 17 to 19 new trolleys made to look like vintage vehicles." MATA owns one Gomaco-built replica double truck Birney.
The three-route street railway system was suspended last year and replaced by buses after two ex-Melbourne "W" class cars caught fire and were destroyed within a six-month period.
Even though current plans are to buy new cars, MATA recommended the board approve the repair of four trucks (the wheel/axle/motor assemblies) from the old cars. The four trucks would be placed under two trolleys.
The board approved a resolution for the company ORX $81,984 to refurbish four Melbourne trucks.