The McKinney Avenue Trolley Authority will celebrate 32 years of streetcar service to Dallas residents, businesses, and visitors on Thursday. It was founded in 1983 in a bid to return heritage streetcars to Dallas. Phil Cobb and Ed Landrum, who were both Dallas Residents, pushed for the creation of MATA when both men discovered tracks on McKinney Avenue that had been paved over.
On July 22, 1989 the M-line opened its initial 2.8-mile route. Since then, M-line has undergone various expansion stages over the 32 years of its existence, with the first expansion coming in 2002. This was an extension of its route to the north, reaching Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s Cityplace/Uptown Station.
A turntable was added to M-line in 2011, preparing the way for more routes. The second expansion came in 2015, and, as a result, the southern loop in downtown Dallas that connects riders to Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s St. Paul Station was created.
The M-line trolley currently has seven vintage cars in its service and provides over 60,000 rides every year within Uptown and Downtown Dallas.