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Back in November, voters overwhelmingly approved a sales tax increase to fund transit expansion in the City of Atlanta. MARTA just released its ideal expansion plans, which include bus rapid transit crisscrossing the city, late night and weekend bus service, and 21 miles of light rail. But there is a fatal flaw: the light rail infrastructure goes through one of the most congested part of town, the downtown path of the Atlanta Streetcar.
Atlanta really, really, wants to be the site of Amazon’s HQ2, but we've got some problems that could halt that. How do we fix our issues before the Amazon delegation arrives to inspect our city? Like a steel plate over a pothole, let's cover 'em up.
Streetcar boosters believe the referendums, if approved, could shift the conversation away from its early troubles. When the first trolley rolled out in December 2014, the project was already more than a year and a half behind schedule, and construction costs had ballooned from an estimated $69 million to more than $98 million, with federal grants covering less than half the price tag.
Commentary: It’s Memorial Day Weekend, Atlanta Streetcar is operating only one trolley, and that’s a problem.
Yesterday, I walked to work past the giant electronic billboard above 218 Peachtree Street and glimpsed an ad for the Atlanta Streetcar. It’s a modified version of a promotion that aired in Times Square...
It might seem wise to invest in a campaign targeting people most likely to ride the Atlanta Streetcar: you know, Atlantans. But thankfully the city has done something more effective: keeping the streetcar fare-free through the end of this year.
The richest Atlanta households earn almost 20 times more than the city’s poorest residents: $288,159 compared to $14,988.
The two new projects—both, by the way, on the Atlanta Streetcar line—represent the kind of everyday amenities that are needed by the people who live in the area year-round, not just tourists.
Boosters say the streetcar will transport more people around downtown, connect riders to the larger MARTA system, and bring business to struggling areas of town. If they want to come close to that, here are six things they should consider doing based on my experience commuting by the Atlanta Streetcar for the past eight weeks.
The first time I took the Atlanta Streetcar, on its third day of operation, I waited alone at the Peachtree Center stop across from the Ellis Hotel. It was raining, but the shelter kept me dry. The stop is about two blocks from our downtown office, and I wanted to check out for myself the project that took almost three years and $98 million to build.
There’s little doubt that the Atlanta Streetcar, which finally started service a few weeks ago, will be a good thing for the city’s tourism business. But what about everyday use? Is the streetcar a practical option for people who live and work within walking distance of its 12 stops? People like me?