April 10, 2018
Speaker: George Gula, Port Authority (Retired), and Western Pa. Trolley Museum
From the 1890’s through 1967, Squirrel Hill was served by an efficient streetcar system that connected that community not only to downtown and nearby Oakland, but also to communities and neighborhoods as diverse as East Liberty, Homestead, Duquesne, McKeesport, Wilkinsburg, Swissvale, Rankin, Braddock and East Pittsburgh. From horsecars to the streamliners that travel the “T” today, we’ll learn about Pittsburgh transit history and how the streetcars of Squirrel Hill fit into it.
Want to go back in time to experience the sights and sounds of the era? History is still alive at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. On February 7, 1954 three trolleys travelled the former Washington interurban line under their own power to arrive at the museum site. Today, PTM boasts a collection of nearly 50 cars, over 600 members worldwide and 150 active volunteers. Over 30,000 visitors each year ride authentic streetcars from Pittsburgh and other cities. We’ll see how a dream became reality and what you can see and do at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.
About the Speaker: George Gula was born and raised in Scranton and Philadelphia, Pa. It was in the early 1950’s in Philadelphia that he acquired his interest in transit and trolleys. After graduating from Penn State University in 1975 with a degree in Business Logistics, George worked in the public transit industry beginning with two years at Scranton’s newly formed County of Lackawanna Transit system. He came to the Port Authority of Allegheny County in 1975 where he worked in Scheduling and Operations until his 2009 retirement. Since joining the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in 1975, he has served as a streetcar operator, conductor and docent in the Operations Department. He is also actively involved in organizing and maintaining the museum’s archives and researches the state’s eastern streetcar systems. Since 2002, he has delivered many of the museums public programs.