Atlanta's New Streetcar
The City of Atlanta and Mayor Kasim Reed have high hopes for the new streetcar that made its debut over the holidays. The $98 million streetcar system is expected to have a positive economic impact in downtown Atlanta, stimulating development and promoting business and tourism. The Atlanta Streetcar started her run at the annual New Year's Peach drop at Underground Atlanta and was a remarkable success.
The Streetcar travels a 2.7 mile loop from Centennial Olympic Park in the NW to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in the East. There are 12 stops along the way, at places including Peachtree Center, Woodruff Park and the Sweet Auburn Market. For the first 3 months there will be no charge to ride, but thereafter patrons will be charged $1 a ride.
There are four cars, each 80' long, 9' wide and 12' high. Each car has seating for 60 people including designated spots for 4 wheelchairs. The maximum capacity is 200 passengers, and most will be standing. The Streetcar will observe the same rules as the Marta bus system, smoking prohibited, no food or drink, shirts and shoes required.
Key features of the streetcar include:
• Potential for higher passenger loads
• Draw new transit riders
• Produces fewer emissions, impacting air quality and sustainability
• Reduces dependence on cars in a significant live-and-work corridor
• Appeals to visitors with its predictable fixed route
• Potential to increase ridership on connecting transit network
The Atlanta Streetcar, which is owned by the city and operated by MARTA, broke ground in 2012 and was originally projected to open in May 2013. But due to several delays including lingering safety concerns from FTA, the opening was pushed back to coincide with the holidays.
The opening of the Streetcar marked a promise fulfilled by the Mayor, who had pledged earlier last year that despite repeated delays, the streetcar would carry passengers by year's end. And that it did. Congratulations Atlanta. Ride On!!