In a move as predictable as it is sensible, the city and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District have opted to jointly manage the streetcar with MARTA. Mayor Reed says the approach "will give Atlanta the best run, safest and most cost-efficient system in the country." Bold claims of superiority aside, the decision will save more than $5 million over the first five years compared to hiring a private contractor — significant savings for a system that's expected to cost $3.9 million to run in year one. The master plan is for MARTA to oversee management and staffing for operating and maintenance for the first year, then to hand operations over to the city and its not-yet-created Office of Transit and FTA Administration. It'll be interesting to see whether MARTA actually gives up the reins at that point. With a strong possibility of expanding into Clayton County, the streetcar contract and a proposed 2015 budget that includes a 19 percent increase in rail service hours with no increase in fares, could MARTA finally be on its way to giving Atlanta the transit system it deserves?
· City of Atlanta To Operate Streetcar With Help From MARTA [WABE]
· City, MARTA to operate Atlanta Streetcar [Atlanta Business Chronicle]
· Atlanta Streetcar to be co-managed by MARTA and city [Atlanta INtown]