Railroad News

MARTA to take over Atlanta Streetcar in July

The Atlanta Streetcar will change hands on July 1, when the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) takes ownership of the system from the city of Atlanta.

The agency also will assume day-to-day operations of the 2.7-mile circular route, MARTA officials said in a press release.

The streetcar will be integrated into MARTA's new light-rail operations office, which will oversee daily operations, maintenance and technical inspections. Communications, human resources, policing and other support services will be provided by staff in other MARTA departments.

The streetcar's operating budget will be underwritten by MARTA's half-cent sales tax referendum, which Atlanta voters approved in November 2016.

This week, MARTA's board is expected to decide whether to ditch the current $1 fare for riding the streetcar, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The agency hasn't yet decided how frequently the streetcar system's four cars will run, according to the paper. Siemens built the rolling stock for the streetcar route.

"As MARTA looks at ways to provide more and better transit options, the streetcar presents an opportunity to expand with light rail," said MARTA Chief Operating Officer Rich Krisak. "Multimodal transportation is what we do at MARTA and this addition to our rail fleet will offer another safe and convenient mode of travel to people moving through the downtown area."

In September 2017, the Atlanta City Council approved a plan to turn over streetcar operations to MARTA.

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