Streetcar named Dottie remains absent from River Street - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Dottie the streetcar still absent from River Street

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Ricky Lovett Ricky Lovett
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A popular free downtown ride has been missing and no one wants it back in service more than the man who used to be in the driver's seat. 

The tracks along River Street have been dormant for a while, but the bright side is that the city of Savannah is holding the conductor job for the only man who was hired for it. 

Ricky Lovett has gotten used to the jingle of change as opposed the clang clang of the trolley.  The city of Savannah gave him a job in Parking and Mobility after his beloved trolley, Dottie, needed a major tune up, and was sent to Pennsylvania.

"The city is working with me, so they've done a good job keeping me working, paying my bills," said Lovett. 

Dottie, he explains is a very special street car from Australia, older than him.

She's very popular too. When the city launched Dottie they had no idea how much she would be used, and that use caused some major wear and tear. 

"Every time I'm on River Street, someone's hollerin', 'When's the street car coming back?'  'I say soon, hopefully.'"

And on this cold March day, our visitors say the same.

Craig from Jacksonville would love not to walk to his hotel. "I get to take in the scenery and I get to be warm and comfortable."

Judy Werner from Cleveland commented, "It's very nostalgic, and my husband loves trolleys!"

And the best part, is that the trolley is free which appealed to Harvey Slovin from New Jersey, "I'd take it twice, I think."

Dottie left the tracks in July 2013, and the problem lies with getting working parts for a 1930s street car, so the company in Pennsylvania is working on fabricating the parts. The hope is that she'll will be back this spring.  A reunion, none too soon. 

"Next to my wife, very special," said Lovett. "When it hurts, I hurt."

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