Transition Slated for July 1; Agency Focus on Safety, Growing Ridership and Cost Savings
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will assume ownership and day-to-day operations of the Atlanta Streetcar from the City of Atlanta on July 1.
The four-car light rail system will be integrated into MARTA operations and its new Office of Light Rail Operations. This office will handle all daily operations, maintenance, and technical inspections. Communications, human resources, and policing, as well as other support services, will be provided by staff within current MARTA departments.
“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. “Multi-modal 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.”
MARTA is currently focused on four transition objectives: enhancing safety and security on the streetcar, increasing ridership, reducing operating costs, and system integration. The streetcar’s 2.7-mile circular route presents an opportunity for MARTA to provide last-mile connectivity to riders, aligning rail schedules so commuters can use the streetcar for the last leg of their trip. The transition will also allow the streetcar to be integrated into the area’s larger transportation system which received a boost this legislative session with the passage of House Bill 930.
Starting July 1, it will be free to ride the streetcar. Other operational decisions such as service frequency and route expansion will be made after the transition is complete.
The operating budget will be underwritten by More MARTA, the 2016 half-penny sales tax referendum.