Trolley Dodgers

Brooklyn trolleys, new and old

The historic borough of Brooklyn announced in January that it is adding five new all-electric bus routes to its map, part of 10 total being debuted by New York City this year (the other five are in Midtown Manhattan). Some might think this is a new implementation, part of the “green” revolution designed to make transit more environmentally friendly. In actuality, Brooklyn was at the forefront of the electric bus game—more than sixty years ago.

For recollection of the original models, you know we had to throw in a Throwback Thursday video:

The nostalgic video helps offer some perspective on what once was, and can illustrate the differences in technology and appearance between Brooklyn’s electric trolleys then and now, Raanan Geberer of the Brooklyn Eagle says, also reminding us that these relics exist in other American cities.

“Yes, the new electric buses that Brooklyn is scheduled to receive are a totally different technology from the old electric buses, or trolley buses,” Geberer wrote in a short editorial online Tuesday. “However, there are still places in the U.S. where trolley buses can be seen in daily service. Among them are San Francisco; Cambridge, Mass.; and Dayton, Ohio. Brooklyn was definitely a pioneer of trolley buses, but unfortunately, they never had a chance to grow to maturity in our borough.”

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