MEHVA Seattle Transit 1940 PCF-Brill 40 SMT Trolley Bus

The Metro Employees Historic Vehicle Association (MEHVA) is a volunteer organization within Metro that is responsible for Metro Transit’s historic fleet of Trolleybuses and Motorcoaches. MEHVA will be operating a Seattle Trolleybus tour on Sunday, June 13th at 11AM.

With the future of our Electric Trolley Bus (ETB) system in doubt, this may be one of the last times that one may enjoy riding in Metro’s Historic ETB fleet.

What: Enjoy an unhurried 4-hour tour of city’s unique trolley bus system. Our restored trackless trolley buses will take you from Seattle’s hectic downtown to several fine old neighborhoods throughout the city. Tour stops for photos and lunch. Trackless trolleys depart at 11 a.m.

When: Sunday, June 13th, 11 AM

Where: Tour departs from 2nd Ave S. & S. Main Street

Cost: $5 (kids 5 and under are free)

MEHVA online:

39 Replies to “MEHVA Historic Trolleybus Tour: June 13th, 2010”

  1. For those who have never been on one of these tours, there is no more relaxed and pleasant way to see the system. Leave your food and coffees behind, bring your cameras of all kinds.

    1. We start selling tickets about 30 minutes before departure, and since we are a small group, it is just easier for us to sell on site only then also having to hold seats for pre-sales.

  2. Why is it that people enjoy these tours? (Not going to argue with anyone, just wondering. Perhaps if it didn’t immediately appeal to me, it just isn’t for me.)

    1. I love vintage vehicles of all kinds, cars (have ’65 & ’66 Mustangs), camp trailers (rally in Roslyn this weekend), trains, planes, tractors, buses, etc. I can’t wait for the LeMay museum in Tacoma; that was quite a show when it was out at his property and then the addition of the Marymount Military Academy. The really great thing about the MEHVA tours is that they are an operational “exhibit” that, like a tourist RR, offers a tour of the city along with the historical perspective of how the ETBs are a part of Seattle’s transit history. Different strokes, I think I’ve seen enough Chihuly glass to last me a lifetime ;-)

      1. ’65 & ’66 eh? Very nice sir, I’ve got a ’66 Mustang myself. I really don’t think of it as a car personally, party because I rarely get it on the road. Feels (and costs :p) more like driving a pierce of art. Rolling around in old vehicles is about those sorts of experiences for me.

      2. We did enjoy taking the ’66 convertible to the XXX back when it was running. The engine is out of it now and my son’s taking over the restoration. A great way for him to learn about old fangled things like carbureters, points & condensers, etc. The ’65 is fully restored but I stalled out just short of finishing rewiring the dash and installing the exhaust; maybe this winter. It’s been sort of a 1:1 scale model for the last 20 years.

  3. “Kids 5 and under are free.”

    I’m trying to imagine my 3 year old trapped on a bus for 4 hours.

    1. You can get off along the way and then get yourself back by regular KCMetro.

  4. I’m going, I’ve been on these MEHVA tours before, they’re like stepping back in time.

    1. Especially with 798. Of the historic trolleys, I think it is the only one built here, it’s a Brill, but it was built at Pacific Car and Foundary(now Paccar) in Renton.

  5. I’d love to imagine I’m going back in time on that bus, but the $5 fare is kinda making it hard for me to do that.

    1. Unfortunately, no. They are parked at various bus bases, but the trolleys are at Atlantic Base.

      1. That’s a really good idea. Seattle should have a transportation museum. I could see other places where it would work but the Fun Forest replacement, given the current competition, would be a strong contender.

  6. I wish to take issue with the constant reference to electric grid powered buses as “trolleybuses”.

    Since a “trolley” is a cart, any bus is therefore also simply a “trolley” in the sense that a single rail car is a “trolley”.

    1. It’s not just English. Trolley Bus is Троллейбус (Trahlehboos) in Russian.

  7. Beautiful bus! Why they changed the color scheme to that ugly yellow/ochre/brown motif I’ll never understand. The ’70s have a lot to answer for.

  8. Anyone planning on going that wouldn’t mind helping me out? I’m 170 pounds, paraplegic, and could use a piggyback ride up the front steps and into a seat. Or a little bit easier, two people could carry me, one grabbing my legs, the other my shoulders. I’ll probably show up either way, if someone volunteers in advance or not. It would be nice if I knew I already had something set up though.

    1. One of the trolleybuses (the 1979 AM General) does have a wheelchair lift. Whether or not it is working or if this bus will be used on the excursion I do not know. You might want to find out.

    2. I asked MEHVA about disability access and they replied:

      “As of the last time we checked the lift, AM General TC #1008’s lift is operational. We recently switched parts with another AMG in the fleet, so unless something has happened since them it should be working. Two tiedown areas are on 1008. The other two TCs being used on Sunday are from the 1940 and have no lift or wheelchair tiedowns.”

  9. From the picture it looks like there are only 2 steps up, but I know from memory of riding those trolleys as a kid that there isn’t any sort of securement area for a wheelchair on board. You may have to find somewhere to stow the chair on board.

    On the topic of vintage trolley buses, has anyone been to Budapest lately? I was there several times in the 1980s and I noticed that the trolleys didn’t have ropes on the poles. Each trolley carried a short stick with a hook on the end and if the bus de-wired the driver had to climb up on the back of the bus and hook the pole with the stick and manipulate the trolley shoe back onto the wire with the stick. I wonder if Budapest has modernized its trolley system yet.

    1. Yeah, I’m going to try and get a hold of them tomorrow. As long as the bus I’m on isn’t full, I can break down my chair and put it on the seat next to me, slide it under, etc. Thanks for pointing out that there are only 2 steps, I could actually crawl up those pretty quick.

      1. Haven’t been able to confirm that I’ll be there but it’s looking like a better than 80% chance. Absolutely I’d be honored to help you board. An expectation of such might just be the kicker I need to make it a 99.9% chance I’ll be there (can’t guarantee 100% since you never know when you’ll be hit by a bus… apologize to families in Portland where this was a recent reality).

        What a bonus. ADA wasn’t considered in the ’50s. I think it’s gone over board since contributing up to 20% of the cost of roadway construction. It would be educational to say the least to observe this living history lesson.

  10. Great tour the MEHVA put on. The stops were a great time to get out and take pictures and also make it easy to switch buses and meet different people. I learned a lot; like where Kinnear is and that there’s a park call Trolley Hill Park. For $5 we definitely got a much better deal than the tourists riding the chopped double decker buses or the Duck. I wish I’d gotten a picture of the late ’40s Pontiac passing 1944 Pullman trolley.

    Too bad the tunnel was closed. I would have liked to ridden Link or at least been able to try out my ORCA card in one of the ticket vending machines. Metro was running shuttle service which looked to be well used.

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