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Atlanta Streetcar Enters Service

The Atlanta Streetcar entered service Dec. 30 following a grand opening ceremony attended by Mayor Kasim Reed, hundreds of business and community leaders and officials from the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), one of the partners that worked to create the new system.

“Atlanta, like other world-class cities, recognizes the importance of investing in a robust public transit network,” MARTA General Manager/Chief Executive Officer Keith T. Parker said at the opening. ­“Situated near four MARTA rail stations and numerous bus stops, the modern Atlanta Streetcar provides another much-needed alternative transportation mode. This is a critical first step in a long-overdue expansion of our region’s transit footprint.”

Parker noted that MARTA will expand its service area in March for the first time in its history, after voters in Clayton County approved the action.

“To build our rapid transit projects, the region and the state must invest in MARTA,” Parker said. “As the agency continues to show routine excellence in managing taxpayers’ investments, thereby increasing ridership and revenue, we are confident MARTA’s rail expansion projects will become a reality and our service area will continue to expand.”

The mayor said, “Opening the Atlanta Streetcar is the final highlight in an incredible year of economic development for the city of Atlanta. The streetcar links neighborhoods that have been divided for more than a generation. This project brings the largest infusion of federal funds into our transportation system in more than a decade. And even more, the streetcar brings more energy, excitement and investment to the neighborhoods near some of our most important historic and tourist sites. The streetcar will carry us into a vibrant, connected future for the city of Atlanta.”

The streetcar line, which operates with vehicles manufactured by Siemens, serves 12 stops with access to major attractions like Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola and the College Football Hall of Fame. It also connects the new Center for Civil and Human Rights to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and the historic Auburn Avenue corridor, the birthplace of the civil rights movement.

Funding for the $98 million streetcar project included a federal TIGER grant for approximately $47.6 million and funds from the city and regional agencies.

The streetcar will operate fare free for its first three months and then will cost $1 per passenger per ride.


MARTA General Manager/CEO Keith T. Parker listens as Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed addresses a large crowd during the launch ceremony for the Atlanta Streetcar.

Photo by Lyle V. Harris, MARTA

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