By Quan Lathan
The electric streetcar is coming to downtown Atlanta as part of an effort to increase local and regional transportation alternatives in the area. A streetcar, also known as a trolley car is a passenger vehicle that is connected to rails that runs through the city streets with other vehicles like cars and trucks.
Construction on the project began early 2012 and is expected to be ready for service later this year. Operation hours are proposed to be from 5:00 am till 11:00 pm weekdays, 8:30 am till 11:00 pm Saturdays, and 9:00 am till 10:30 pm on Sundays.
The streetcar is intended to be an alternative to buses as it causes less noise and fewer emissions, making it more energy efficient and environmental friendly. Other benefits of the car include providing transit between downtown neighborhoods, community facilities and tourist attractions. A few of the nearby attractions will include:
- CNN center
- Georgia Aquarium
- Georgia Dome
- Georgia state capitol
- Georgia World Congress Center
- MLK Jr’s birth home
- World of Coca-Cola
- Phillips Arena
The map below shows the route that the streetcar will be taking when operation begins (Source: http://streetcar.atlantaga.gov/)
The project is costing a total of $92 million, coming from various sources:
- $47.6 million in TIGER II federal transit administration grants
- $32.6 million from the City of Atlanta Recovery Zone Bond funds and the departments of watershed management clean water program
- $6 million from the ADID (Atlanta Downtown Improvement District)
- $6.45 million from the Atlanta Regional Commission Livable Centers Initiative Program
Look forward to a new transport alternative for residents and tourists alike later in 2014.