After the Atlanta City Council approved its ownership last fall, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will officially assume day-to-day operations of the Atlanta Streetcar on July 1, according to a MARTA press release.
The four-car light rail system will be integrated into MARTA’s new office of light rail operations, which will handle the system’s daily operations, maintenance and technical inspections.
“As MARTA looks at ways to provide more and better transit options, the streetcar presents an opportunity to expand with light rail,” MARTA Chief Operating Officer Rich Krisak said. “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.”
According to the release, MARTA has four current goals for the transition: 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 release said.
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, adding millions of dollars for transit expansion.
MARTA’s board of directors will make a final determination on the fare, the release said. 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.