The Buckalews, partners in marriage and in business, have plenty to keep them busy as they are owners of the Historic Marietta Trolley Company, Marietta Pedicabs and Marietta Ghost Tours. But now they can add Atlanta history and sightseeing to their business portfolio with Peachtree Trolley Company, which is the only trolley sightseeing service in Atlanta.
Cassandra Buckalew said the company has been giving tours to Atlanta business, government and tourism leaders for a few weeks, but last week was the official public launch of the Peachtree Trolley Company. And although the company is still in the beginning stages of launching all of the services it hopes to one day provide, she said the company is excited to have a presence in Georgia’s capital city.
“Our business at Marietta Trolley Company has grown so much, we literally cannot do everything we would like to do and often have to turn people down because we only have one trolley,” Buckalew said. “But with Peachtree Trolley, we will be adding a new bus in June that is black and gold and we can use that to help both of our trolley companies thrive. The sightseeing tours are great, but our charters are really our bread and butter so we needed a second bus anyway and felt it was perfect to time it with the launch of Peachtree Trolley.”
Buckalew said each trolley bus costs about $135,000, so launching into the Atlanta market was going to take some substantial investments, but Buckalew said through research, she found that Atlanta really had a market for a trolley service.
“I had heard the trolley company that was running here had gone out of business in January 2010, and I instantly started thinking about opening a new service here and several of those drivers had contacted us to see if we had positions open,” Buckalew said.
So she reached out to members of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors’ Bureau and found that the former trolley service, called Atlanta Trolley Tours, went out of business because of some issues within the company rather than a lack of need for its services in the city.
Buckalew said plans came together quickly, and after months of going through logistics with the state and city of Atlanta governments, she and Brian decided to turn plans into reality by ordering the second bus in December.
Buckalew said Peachtree Trolley tours will operate under the same formula that has made Marietta Trolley tours so successful — by allowing tour guides hired by the company to give a brief history of many of the landmarks along the route, while also allowing riders to simply enjoy the sights of Atlanta with friends and colleagues, food and drink in hand, if they like.
For now, the company is using the Marietta trolley for the Peachtree Trolley tours, so don’t be surprised if you see it cruising down Interstate 75 at about 55 mph. And as the company continues in the beginning stages, Buckalew said they are only offering tours in Atlanta on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But she is already thinking of ways to expand Peachtree Trolley, such as offering ghost tours and transportation services for pub crawls. And for now, there is a loading zone at 265 Parke Ave. West NW, but Buckalew said they would eventually like to add a ticket booth or store front.
For more information on Peachtree Trolley Company and to buy tickets, visit www.thepeachtreetrolley.com or call (770) 425-1006.
What is the Peachtree Trolley Company?
* Departs from and ends at Centennial Olympic Park
Offers 90-minute tours with tour guides and charter services for private events.
* Visits some of Atlanta’s most notable places, such as the Georgia State Capitol, the Georgia Aquarium, Oakland Cemetery and the Fox Theatre.
* Tickets cost $30 for adults, $28 for those age 55 and older, $28 for college students, $15 for children ages four through 12, $25 per person for a group of 10 or more paid together and children age three and younger ride for free. Call for quotes on charter services.
* There is no designated parking lot for trolley riders, so use pay lots around Centennial Olympic Park.
* The trolley runs at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays.