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Trolley Line Drivers Decorating on Their Own Dime

It's a Christmas miracle. The Jolly Trolley can make even the scroogiest of SEPTA-haters change their tune. "The train broke down, but then I got on the #jollytrolley!" Gushed Instagrammer @apaperknife recently. What's the bet had the Jolly Trolley not been in season there would have been a few four letter words replacing that hashtag?

But while this handful of merry trolleys and buses work their way back and forth across the city each year at Christmastime to the glee of commuters and Instagrammers alike, not as much thought is given to the people behind the magic: the drivers themselves. "I buy the decorations," says Dave Musgrove, a trolley operator. "Me and my daughter, we stay up for two days and decorate the trolley."

Why go through all the cost, the trouble?

Musgrove says: "The people who get on the trolleys - coming from madness to happiness, because of how the trolleys are decorated," says Musgrove. "Bringing the Christmas spirit back into them again."

A photo posted by Lillian (@apaperknife) on

And although there are early signs that SEPTA's "Dude It's Rude"campaign for passenger etiquette may be working, what's the bet that a year-round Jolly Trolley (perhaps sans the Christmas carols on a constant loop) could work just as well? Well, at least we can always rely on @SeptaPoet to bring us good tidings of pan-seasonal cheer.

· Jolly Trolley Returns; Delaware Service Win; PATCO Changes [Curbed Philly]
· SEPTA's etiquette reminders making inroads with riders [Newsworks]
· A Miracle on the 34 Line [Plan Philly]
- Megan Ritchie Jooste