Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced Tuesday that the long, agonizing, never-ending delay of the Atlanta Streetcar is finally over. In less than a week, at 11 a.m. on Dec. 30, the first non-sandbag passengers will board the beautiful blue-purple behemoths at the Woodruff Park Streetcar Stop at Peachtree Street and Auburn Avenue, following opening remarks by the officials who saw the project through. Keeping a promise made a year ago, the streetcars' first human riders will pay no more than the sandbags have, with three months of free rides; after that period, a trip will cost $1.
It's been almost three years since construction began on the 2.6 mile downtown line, which connects Centennial Olympic Park to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site via Sweet Auburn. Back in 2011, the anticipated completion date was May 2013. While some setbacks were unforeseen — unanticipated utility complications, questions of who would operate the system, etc. — others were all too predictable — the ineptitude of Atlanta drivers comes to mind. But considering the mess that existed in February, it's a wonder the streetcar is meeting the latest deadline of Dec. 31, after blowing through all previous deadlines like a yellow light.
With the announcement, it's time to bone up on your streetcar safety with Jessica "It's All Good" Williams so you don't become the laughingstock of the light-rail legions. Or the few random riders who figure out the big train things are actually accepting people.
· Atlanta Streetcar [Facebook]