Prairie Post (East Edition)

SENIOR Tourism MH ready to roll out new Sunshine Trolley

- By Kendal King Alberta Newspaper Group

Tourism Medicine Hat is giving locals and visitors more opportunit­ies to see the city in style this summer with rollout of a second Sunshine Trolley.

“We got the original trolley around five years ago,” tourism project co-ordinator Mo Cranker told the News. “The positive reception and community welcome the old trolley (was given) got the team at the time talking about getting something a little newer.”

The search to find the new trolley took several years, with the Tourism Medicine Hat’s team contacting sellers across Canada and the U.S.

“Finding vintage vehicles as a whole is difficult (as) there’s not that many out there, and we had very specific criteria,” said Cranker.

Eventually, a 2008 Supreme Trolley matching all criteria was found in Newfoundla­nd, in the town of Clarke’s Beach. Once purchased, the trolley began its long journey to Medicine Hat, much to the awe and amusement of other drivers who passed it along the way.

The new trolley arrived safely last summer, but didn’t hit the streets right away as it had to undergo safety inspection­s, cleaning and outfitting with decals.

But with the warm weather returning, the trolley is now ready to host school tour groups and private bookings, and will open for Sunshine Trolley tours nearer to Canada Day.

While the old trolley – a converted 1985 Ford motor home – has faithfully toured groups to some of Medicine Hat’s most iconic sites since first introduced, it will be relieved of some of the pressure of the job by the new trolley.

“(The new trolley) will be more of a daily driver,” said Cranker. “And the other one will be available for private bookings or school tours.”

Cranker explained the old trolley, at nearly 50 years of age, does lack several features included in the new trolley, such as a wheelchair lift and space for two wheelchair­s, air conditioni­ng, a bike rack and a new engine offering more hauling power.

Cranker is excited for residents and visitors to experience the new trolley.

“For locals, it’s a fantastic way to see your city through a different lens,” he said. “And then visiting friends and family, it’s a great way to see some of the city’s highlights. We have a lot of cool places to see here.”

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