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Oops, Prank or Scam - RonO's Ramblings — LiveJournal

Nov. 6th, 2009 04:01 pm Oops, Prank or Scam

This morning as I was waiting to get of The Coaster, I noticed a new flyer in the flyer area near the exit. This flyer, which looks like it was produced either in-house or at a low-end print shop (i.e. it is 8.5x11 paper, printed and hand folded), announces "San Diego Vintage Trolley, Inc." They flyer explains that this is a new 501(c)3 subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), dedicated to restoring 3 vintage trolleys to run on the MTS trolley lines near downtown. The flyer includes several nice pictures, a form to mail support (including donations) and a link to a web site: www.sdvintagetrolley.com.

This interested me enough -- largely because the map showing where the trolley would be running was not readable (or showed no actual "silver line" for the vintage cars) -- so I tried to access the website. That was were things got interesting.

When I pulled up the site, I got one of the "parking sites" that is just a bunch of links. From this, I concluded that the flyer was one of three things: a mistake, in that it was released before everything was ready; a prank; or a scam.

I did a bit more poking around when I had a brief break this morning. I was able to determine that the phone number led to someone at the MTS offices, where I left a voice mail letting them know that they either had flyers with their number on The Coaster, or that their website was down. I was also able to confirm that the mailing address at least resolves (according to Google) to the MTS offices. Based on those, I have mostly discounted the idea that this is a scam -- a scam would have had somewhere else to get mail and donations, and might not have sent the phone to someone at the MTS. (Of course a well done scam would also have had a live website since those are probably as easy or easier to set up than a PO Box).

I'm kind of hoping that this is just an early release of the flyers, a release of some draft flyers, or a mistake with their web host. Ten years ago I thought that it was neat that Melbourne used mostly vintage trams on their downtown loop (which is, or at least was, free -- something for people going to Aussicon next year to remember), and would think that this was just as neat in my city.

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Date:November 7th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
They have been around for a few years. Their site seems down at the moment, but I've been watching them for a couple of years now. They have three 40s trolley cars and have been restoring them. Their site, when it comes back, has some newsletters and such that you can download. Here is another site that has lots of info and they also have the newsletters. http://www.sdera.org/