PHOTO: The buses are currently listed at $8000. Photo / Stephen Tate
A resident of Motueka is offering two vintage Wellington trolley buses for sale, intending for them to be repurposed into tiny homes.
Stephen Tate, residing just outside Motueka in the South Island, has listed the buses on Trade Me, explaining that he acquired them two years ago from an individual in the North Island who had purchased a bulk of around 30 decommissioned trolley buses. Originally planning to convert them into tiny houses due to high demand, Tate changed his course, citing a shift in his career focus and a decision to avoid larger projects.
While the buses have garnered considerable interest, no serious buyers have emerged yet. Prospective buyers would need to tow the buses from their current location, as they were designed to operate on Wellington’s decommissioned electric tramline.
Tate emphasized the buses’ potential as delightful tiny homes, boasting glass and aluminum bodies with low maintenance requirements. Although they were taken out of service in 2017 after 60 years of service in Wellington, the buses still contain their motors. However, as there are no overhead tram lines in the district, they would need to be towed.
The interior of the bus. Photo / Stephen Tate
The buses hold historical significance, having served Wellingtonians for six decades until their decommissioning in 2017. Notably, during their final day in service, a “wake” was organized in the hope of influencing a last-minute reprieve. Despite protests, the decision to stop funding the trolleys was finalized by the Greater Wellington Regional Council in 2014, leading to the introduction of new diesel and electric buses in July 2018.
A trolley-bus on Lambton Quay, Wellington, 10 September, 2008. Photo / Mark Mitchell