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Atlanta Streetcar

Post Date:01/20/2012

Overview of the Atlanta Streetcar Project
Work to implement a modern streetcar transit system continues through the collaborative public private partnership between the City of Atlanta (COA), the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID), and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).

The purpose of the Atlanta Streetcar project is to provide an integrated multi-modal, high-quality transit network that links communities, improves mobility by enhancing transit access and options, supports projected growth, promotes economic development and encourages strategies to develop livable communities.

On October 15, 2010 the City of Atlanta received notice of a pending federal funding award of approximately $47.6 million to fund the East-West route of the Atlanta Streetcar. The total cost of the project is $69.2 million with capital match contributions from the City of Atlanta $15.6 million and ADID $6 million as part of a total contribution from ADID of $20 million over 20 years.

Benefits of the Atlanta Streetcar Project
  • The Atlanta Streetcar will provide missing circulation and direct connectivity to the existing transit services coming into Midtown and Downtown, as well as future commuter rail, regional light rail, including the Atlanta BeltLine, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail services.
  • It will provide enhanced mobility to transit-dependent populations.
  • Design work continues. Compared with other transportation projects, implementation can move forward quickly as soon as funding is awarded, resulting in immediate job creation and economic benefits.
  • As experienced in other cities nationwide, the permanency of rail tracks has been shown to spur economic development:
    • In Portland the streetcar catalyzed 140 real estate projects worth $3.5 billion; following its construction, property values increased by approximately 50 percent.
    • In Seattle a $51 million streetcar project (capital cost) led to 3.3 million SF of development.
    • Attractive, convenient service will increase transit ridership, foot traffic and customers for businesses near Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia State University, the Civic Center, the Arts Center, Edgewood and Auburn Avenue, and the Peachtree corridor.

Project Characteristics:
  • East-West route = 2.6 track miles with 12 stops/stations (in design)
  • Electric streetcar vehicle
  • Shared with other traffic, on-street lanes
  • Overhead power system (single trolley wire)
  • 15-minute frequency (average)
  • Operational costs to be covered by fare box revenue, advertising, ADID, Atlanta car rental and hotel motel tax and federal funds

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