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MARTA Bestows Extra $7 Million Upon Streetcar

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Cha-ching. On Monday, MARTA's Board of Directors approved a $7 million increase in funding for the Atlanta Streetcar. The money will be pulled from existing contingency funds, and it bumps the project's price tag to $59 million (excluding federal funds that got the ball rolling in the first place), the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports. Said MARTA's board chairman Fred Daniels: "We continue to work closely and effectively with our partners at City Hall and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District to ensure that we realize the full potential of this project."

According to the newspaper, the additional $7 million from MARTA will cover improvements to the project's scope and design — including new streetscapes and bicycle lanes — plus a 7 percent contingency fund. MARTA, you'll recall, serves as technical advisor for the project. MARTA was also the designated recipient of a $47.6 million federal grant the project received in 2010.

The initial 2.7-mile streetcar loop is slated to open next year. It will link downtown with popular tourist destinations such as Centennial Olympic Park and MLK Historic sites. Eventually, it could hook up with the Beltline.
· MARTA approves additional $7 million for Atlanta Streetcar [Atlanta Business Chronicle]