Had the opportunity to walk the streets of downtown Memphis and New Orleans this past weekend and one of the observations I had was about the trolley's in each city.
A short time later a smaller bus type vehicle passed us up that claimed to be a hybrid trolley. After doing some research is seems that the regular trolley system was rendered obsolete after "An investigation and a peer review of MATA’s operation found that the
cars had not been adequately maintained and that there was little or no
training or regulation of system personnel. MATA officials weighed the option of ordering new replica trolleys before deciding to overhaul the existing fleet. A WBHQ Fox 13 Memphis report
noted that a $6 million federal grant for the repairs brought with it a
host of regulatory hurdles the agency has had to clear before service
can be restored. The cars’ age — according to the review, the historic trolleys are at the end of their useful life even after taking into account their restoration upon arrival in Memphis — isn’t helping
The trolley is being replaced by a hybrid bus that uses four wheels.
They always seemed to be busy enough and were out of the way of traffic unless one was making a left turn or u-turn. I was told that the area between the rail lanes was used for jogging and dog walking. A fact that was soon born out by observation. All in all it seemed to be a very efficient and used system of transportation.
The Memphis system on the other hand seems to have taken a mid course correction. One that Milwaukee officials should look very closely at as Milwaukee resembles Memphis more than it does New Orleans.