Past Event: Bach on the Trolley

Join us on March 28th to celebrate Bach’s birthday with live music.

Thank you! – Taste of the Trolley

Thank you to sponsors and attendees for making our fundraiser a success!

CW33: “Dallas’ best kept secret”

The M-Line Trolley was recently featured on CW33’s Inside DFW.

MATA Featured In Local News

The M-LINE Trolley was recently featured on WFAA and NBC!

In Memory and Honor of Dotty K. Griffith

M-Line Trolley Celebrates 32 Years of Service to Dallas

On Thursday, July 22, the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority (MATA) will celebrate 32 years of streetcar service to Dallas residents, businesses, and visitors.

In 1983, MATA was founded to return heritage streetcars to the urban fabric of Dallas. Two Dallas residents, Phil Cobb and Ed Landrum, began championing the idea after discovering tracks on McKinney Avenue that had been paved over and forgotten. On July 22, 1989, the McKinney Avenue Trolley celebrated the grand opening of its 2.8-mile route.

The M-LINE has expanded several times over the years, eventually reaching a total of 4.6 miles in length. The first expansion opened in 2002, extending the route north to connect to DART’s CityPlace/Uptown Station, followed by the construction of a turntable in 2011. The second expansion opened in 2015, creating the southern loop in downtown Dallas that connects riders to the DART’s St. Paul Station.

Currently served by seven vintage cars, the M-LINE trolley provides more than 600,000 rides every year within Uptown and Downtown Dallas.

Learn More About The M-LINE Trolley

Restoration of Historic Street Car Unveiled

On July 31st, the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority unveiled its restoration of the oldest operating street car in the nation.

Green Mountain Energy Sun Club & ProStar Energy Solutions help MATA Go Green!

McKinney Avenue Transit Authority (MATA) partnered with Green Mountain Energy Sun Club and ProStar Energy Solutions to harness and promote renewable energy and environmental stewardship.

Thanks to the generosity of Green Mountain Energy Sun Club’s grant of $368,000 for a set of Sustainability Projects, MATA’s operation has become even more energy efficient. Many consider the McKinney Avenue Trolley already “green” as we run our streetcars on electricity, not limited, expensive and polluting fossil fuels. This partnership has helped make our system more energy efficient by reducing electricity consumption and saving costs. It also brings awareness of environmentally conscious renewable resources on both a small and large scale.

The Sustainability Projects include:

  • Installation of a roof top 42.7 kW Solar Array system on the McKinney Avenue Trolley Car Barn producing energy from sunlight and offsetting total electricity usage resulting in significant savings.
  • The Car Barn roof also underwent a “cool roof” treatment to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat to stay much cooler, saving energy and money by using less air conditioning.
  • Trolley Car Barn and trolley windows were solar tinted to reduce more than 90% of UV rays, preventing heat from penetrating the Barn and trolley cars, thus lowering electricity costs by each year.
  • LED Lighting Conversion for the Car Barn and MATA offices was installed replacing existing lighting. LED bulbs last longer, are more durable, offer comparable or better light and are the most energy-efficient lighting available today.
  • Replacing the outdated, inefficient air conditioning units on trolleys with new commercial grade units improving comfort for passengers and reducing electricity usage and maintenance costs. This upgrade will allow our trolleys to continue to transport passengers comfortably while saving thousands of dollars annually.

The Sustainability Project has helped MATA become more energy efficient by reducing our electricity consumption and expenses, and equally important, improves the experience for our more than 500,000 riders every year. This green initiative will have a positive environmental impact on MATA and the surrounding Uptown area for years to come.

Thank you Green Mountain Energy Sun Club and ProStar Energy Solutions!

History Corner: End of the Original Dallas Streetcars

In the early hours of a bitter cold morning on January 15, 1956, a streetcar rolled along the Sunset-Hampton line that ran from Oak Cliff, crossed the Trinity River viaduct, and carried passengers through Downtown Dallas. For 66 years, the streetcar route would begin and end its day at the streetcar barns in Old East Dallas on the corner of Elm St & Peak St. 

But tonight was different. Tonight marked a turning point in both the life of this streetcar and the lives of all Dallas residents.

The era of the electric streetcar had begun in Dallas in March 1890. For workers, the streetcar offered an affordable alternative to walking long distances. For cities, it offered a cleaner form of transportation compared to horses or coal locomotives. At the height of operations, street car transportation would become so prolific that the Dallas Railway and Terminal Company boasted almost 400 streetcars and 200 miles of track in its operations that were roughly limited to the areas known today as Oak Lawn/Turtle Creek, Uptown, Downtown, Old East Dallas, and Oak Cliff.

By the late 1930s, the growing adoption of automobile and buses led cities to become more oriented towards automobile travel, which ultimately resulted in declining passenger traffic for streetcars.  High transportation demands brought by World War II breathed a few more years of life into the streetcar era in Dallas and other cities but by 1950 the end was in sight.  This would lead Dallas Mayor R.L. Thornton to declare that “Dallas will never be a modern city as long as it is tied to an antiquated, electric rail transit system”

But tonight on January 15th, 1956, the car was filled to standing room only as citizens of Dallas gathered together to say goodbye to an old friend.  They came in ones and twos and small knots of friends who boarded the streetcar as it trundled along its route, all anxious to be on the “last car”.  In fact, so many came that two cars—Nos. 776 & 772—were coupled so that almost 200 passengers could experience what they thought would be the “last trip” of streetcars in Dallas. Among those passengers were a man named Ed Landrum and his wife Paula.

33 years after that “last trip”, Ed Landrum and Phil Cobb would found the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority to run electric streetcars again along the historic red bricks of McKinney Avenue. As a result, the area around it has become one of the densest, most walkable, and most desirable locations in Dallas.

Now, 30 years later—and 64 years after that blustery January night—the M-LINE is bigger and better than ever and happy to share our history, and the history of streetcars in Dallas. We look forward to creating new history in Dallas with our many loyal fans and riders over the next 64 years and many more.

To learn more about the history of our cars, visit our Learning page