Richland, Wash.’s Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) replaced three aging buses with new Gillig low-floor buses outfitted with trolley replica packages by Cable Car Classics, which combine classic trolley appeal with the safety and reliability of modern transit buses.
On Wednesday, BFT held a ribbon cutting ceremony with members of their board of directors, as well as numerous local elected officials, members of the tourism and business communities, and the media.
“It was wonderful to see the reaction of our community to the trolley buses,” said Gloria Boyce, BFT’s GM. “There has been a lot of excitement from our board, as well as our community partners. They see countless opportunities to involve the trolley buses in their economic development efforts, including the redevelopment of our urban cores and our growing tourism industry. The public also enjoyed the chance to ride the trolleys before they went on route. We heard from numerous people that they’re fun to ride and that they will enjoy seeing them around town.”
The trolley buses are named for each of the three rivers that come together in the Tri-Cities, The Yakima, The Snake, and The Columbia. The trolley replica package outfits a modern transit bus with solid oak seats, brass-colored stanchions, a lighted cupola on the roof, and front cowcatcher. It also includes a vintage paint scheme and graphics. Underlying the nostalgic styling is a transit-proven, reliable, heavy-duty Gillig bus designed and built in Hayward, Calif.