Last week, the Georgia Department of Transportation issued a scathing report outlining an array of Atlanta Streetcar shortcomings. Plagued with problems since its inception, the fledgling system is run by the City of Atlanta with MARTA serving a still seemingly undefined oversight role. Now, a state leader is calling for the big blue eels to be turned over to MARTA. If State Senate Minority Whip Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) has his way, MARTA could take full control of the streetcar system, according to an article in the AJC. Which raises the question of whether MARTA can play savior to the streetcar like it did to itself.
Fort unveiled his plan Wednesday to file legislation which would require that MARTA take over operations and management of the system. The announcement comes as just the next strange piece of the streetcar's never-ending saga.
Since MARTA handles all but five percent of transit trips in all of the metro, Fort holds that a consolidation is the logical approach to remedying the litany of woe that is the system's operation over the last year. With Keith Parker leading MARTA into another banner year, it only seems logical to place the operation of the struggling streetcar into what would seem to be more capable hands.
Unsurprisingly, the city didn't take the proposal so well... In response to the proposed legislation, Mayor Kasim Reed's office issued a statement that made their feelings in no way unsure, calling the initiative "completely meaningless" with "no chance of ever becoming law."
Your move, legislators.