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A tourist trolley, also called a road trolley, is a rubber-tired bus designed to resemble an old-style streetcar or tram, usually with false clerestory roof. The vehicles are usually fueled by diesel, or sometimes compressed natural gas.
The name refers to the American English usage of the word trolley to mean an electric streetcar. As these vehicles are not actually trolleys, and to avoid confusion with trolley buses, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) refers to them as "trolley-replica buses".
Tourist trolleys are used by both municipal and private operators. Municipal operators may mix tourist trolleys in with the regular service bus fleet to add more visitor interest or attract attention to new routes. In many cities tourist trolleys are used as circulators. Tourist trolleys are also run by private operators to carry tourists to popular destinations.
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Notable operators of tourist-trolley buses:
- New York Trolley Company
- Williamsburg Area Transit Authority – Local shopping centers and points of interest, including Merchants Square in Williamsburg, Virginia
- Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority – Dillo Routes in downtown Austin, Texas
- Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority – Bayliner Route in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania
- Gray Line Worldwide
- Kingston Citibus in Kingston, New York
- Montgomery Area Transit Service – Lightning Route Trolleys in Montgomery, Alabama
- Pace – circulator in the Chicago area
- Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co. – Largest sightseeing/charter company in the Midwest
- Red Rose Transit Authority – circulator in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania (retired in 2019 and replaced with regular buses)
- Rhode Island Public Transit Authority – Providence LINK in downtown Providence, Rhode Island
- Transit Authority of River City – Louisville, Kentucky
- VIA Metropolitan Transit – VIA Streetcar in San Antonio, Texas
- Ollie the Trolley in Scottsdale, AZ circulator in Downtown Scottsdale
- Riverside Transit Agency – shuttle service in downtown Riverside, CA, Temecula, CA and around UC Riverside
- Molly's Trolley in West Palm Beach, Florida
- I-Ride Trolley in Orlando, Florida
- TANK operates Southbound Shuttle, which circles the riverfront cities of Newport, Kentucky, Covington, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Wave Transit operates a circular tourist route in downtown Wilmington, NC.
- Capital Area Transportation Authority – Lansing, Michigan: Under the name "Route 4 Entertainment Express", limited-stop late-night weekend service between Downtown Lansing and downtown East Lansing catering to nightlife.
- Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) – Saratoga Visitors Trolley (Saratoga Springs, NY; from Memorial Day Weekend until Labor Day Weekend)
- Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA); Route 55T Tourist Trolley along Pine Avenue in Niagara Falls, New York between Niagara Falls and the Niagara Falls International Airport.
- Housatonic Area Regional Transit in the past had a trolley service in downtown Danbury, but service was later suspended. HARTransit purchased a new trolley-replica bus in June 2014.
- Coast Transit Authority Beachcomber (1) and Casino Hopper (2) lines in Biloxi, Mississippi
- Cable Car Classics, Inc.
- Dupont Industries
- Gillig Corporation
- Hometown Trolley
- Optima Bus Corporation (formerly Chance Coach Inc.)
- Specialty Vehicles
- Trackless train — tram in U.S. English.
- Heritage streetcar
- Duck tour — uses an amphibious vehicle for sightseeing.
- List of buses
- "Bus and Trolleybus Definitions". American Public Transportation Association. 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
- A circulator operates a simplified route limited to popular destinations on a fixed schedule with a reduced or free fare. See ref  for definition.
- "Philadelphia Trolley Works (‘76 Carriage Company) — visitphilly.com". Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- "SEPTA - Route 10, 11, 13, 15, 34 & 36 Trolley Line Map". www.septa.org. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- "Historic Trolley Route has a new name - Route 6/Downtown Lancaster Loop". Red Rose Transit Authority. August 22, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
- Capital Area Transportation Authority. "Entertainment Express". Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- "NFTA Route 55T bus schedule" (PDF). Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- "HARTransit (@HARTransit) - Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
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