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 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.
A selection of historical photos:
Looking north from Olive Street
Looking west from McKinney and Maple-Routh