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Um, about that streetcar…?

A century ago, streetcars were Atlanta’s proverbial lifeblood, connecting Downtown to “suburbs” like Inman Park, Druid Hills, and the West End. Even as cars became common in the 1920s and 1930s, Atlantans continued commuting by trolley, streetcar, and intercity train.

MARTA says it won’t ask for state money until “house is in order”

On Friday afternoon, MARTA unveiled a draft of a five-year plan for how the transit authority can cope with a $30 million operating deficit. Authored by auditing firm KPMG, the "transformation road map" provides guidelines for implementing measures recommended in an audit last year. These include restructuring employee benefits and outsourcing certain business functions—savings that could amount to more than $100 million over five years.

MARTA audit caveat: Low wages counterbalance costly benefits

On Monday, MARTA released an independent audit that cited employee benefits as one major drain on the cash-strapped transit authority. On Tuesday, this appeared on the front page of the AJC print edition:

MARTA is the engine for Atlanta’s epic Labor Day weekend

One reason I love working Downtown is that the streets on any average weekday have an almost Manhattan-like energy. But when big events blow through town, as they often do, pedestrians flood the crosswalks and drivers start blaring horns, and it really feels like the Big City.
Where it all went wrong MARTA T-SPLOST transportation MARTA compromise of 1971

Where It All Went Wrong

Like ghosts rising out of a Confederate cemetery, Atlanta’s past lapses in judgment haunt the region today, leaving a smoky trail of suburban decay, declining home values, clogged highways, and a vastly diminished reputation.

Handy site: It’s Near MARTA

MARTA train riders, check it out: A Georgia Tech prof has created a simple webpage that shows all businesses within a half-mile of MARTA stations that have at least four stars on Yelp. Itsnearmarta.com is pretty helpful if you're traveling by transit and looking for a bite to eat or a nearby tattoo parlor. (But watch out for Yelp mapping errors; a quick inquiry into how the heck the Popeyes in Vine City nabbed four stars showed a mixup with the airport location. You know how out-of-towners love their authentic Southern cuisine.)

Of course, we've blogged before about how even short walks from MARTA can be unpleasant and unsafe. But such is not the case with all MARTA stops, and we dig any effort to get people exploring the city on foot.

Jay Bookman’s cool wisdom for transportation tax skeptics

One of the things I love about AJC columnist Jay Bookman's work is that it's insightful without being inciteful. Take it from a former opinion columnist, that's not easy.

The Room that Makes the Trains Run

The nerve center of Atlanta’s electric rail system hides in an unmarked concrete building east of the city limits in DeKalb County, behind a fence topped with three strands of barbed wire.

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