Langford council opted to keep its “iconic” old trolleys and look for other uses for them during Tuesday’s (Feb. 21) council meeting.
Staff had recommended council hold an online auction to sell the trolleys as they’re rarely used and continue to cost the city in maintenance fees. Another municipality had also shown interest in buying the trolleys.
The trolleys used to be used as a public transit service, run by the City of Langford before BC Transit expanded service into the West Shore. But since trolley service was ended on June 30, 2017, they have been mainly for special events or parades.
The trolleys cost an average of $6,000 annually in maintenance costs and $5,000 in annual insurance costs for all trolleys. There’s also only one staff member currently legally allowed to drive the larger trolley, which requires a class 3 licence, according to a report from city staff.
But after hearing pitches from a number of community members during Tuesday’s council meeting, Langford council opted to keep the trolleys and look for other uses for them.
“I do think they’re iconic, I really do think they’re interesting and it’s a unique asset for Langford,” said Coun. Mary Wagner.
Wagner added that council was currently reviewing its strategic priorities and should look at incorporating the trolleys into its arts and culture strategy. Both Coun. Mark Morley and Coun. Keith Yacucha said they favoured making them static attractions, likely at Station Avenue.
Coun. Kimberly Guiry voted against keeping the trolleys, saying she had concerns about their accessibility. City staff said it would cost $60,000 to make one of the trolleys accessible, something staff suggested would be prohibitive because it would nearly cost more than the trolley is worth.
“I would rather move forward with something that was accessible to all Langford residents and didn’t present a barrier to something that was a part of Langford, but only for able-bodied residents,” said Guiry.
Ultimately council voted not to sell the trolleys and consider other uses for them.
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