A trolley crashed into a building Thursday in downtown Asheville. Police say the trolley rolled backward, hit a stop sign and then a building. Officers believe the accident happened due to a mechanical failure.
The incident raises a question – who is responsible for keeping you safe when using alternative transportation.
“Each of the drivers, before they're allowed to go out have to do what we call a ‘pre-trip,' they inspect the trolley front to rear,” said Albert Beedie, a safety training officer for the City of Greenville.
Beedie makes sure drivers and trolleys are operating like they should be.
“If you take better care of things, they will last a lot longer,” says Beedie. “You figure these trolleys were made in 1995 and they still run quite well.”
Each trolley in Greenville goes in for routine maintenance based on how many hours it has been on the road, according to Beedie.
Drivers must also keep up their skills as well. They are required to have a Commercial Drivers License which Beedie says is regulated by the federal government.
So what about horse-drawn carriages?
The City of Greenville has two licensed companies.
“Before you even grab the reins, you have to go through 40 hours of training,” said Scott Malnory with Horse Drawn Carriages.
These businesses must also have their animals pass yearly inspections.
Malnory says they carefully pick out their workers.
“One little glitch in their demeanor and we can't have that down there,” Malnory said.
While the horses are their top priority, Malnory says the carriage must always be kept in good condition.
“I shake things and I move stuff around,” he adds.
For you it may just be a quick ride, but for drivers of both trolleys and carriages, it's their livelihood and they're not willing to risk safety for speed.