ATLANTA — MARTA is taking over operations of the beleaguered Atlanta Streetcar, according to published news reports.
The 2.7-mile-long streetcar system opened at the end of 2014. MARTA operated the streetcar for the first year, then handed over operations to the city of Atlanta.
“The city is funding MARTA’s expansion, the largest expansion in its history, to the tune of $2.6 billion dollars,” WXIA-TV quoted Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed as saying. “So, as a part of that process the streetcar system is being absorbed into MARTA as a part of the $2.6 billion expansion. So we’re excited about it.”
The Georgia Department of Transportation found more than 60 problems and safety concerns, which have since been remedied, according to the city, reports indicate.
Plans call for the streetcar to expand and one day tie into the popular Atlanta BeltLine, a public-private partnership that is building walking paths along a ring of mostly abandoned railroad right-of-ways that circle the city. Streetcars were once prominent fixtures on the city’s streets before they ceased operations in 1949.