Recent commentary regarding the Atlanta Streetcar’s continued troubles has raised questions about how dollars from two upcoming transportation sales tax referendums could remedy the project’s rocky start — and possibly usher it to a bright future of heavy ridership.
Namely, asks the writer of a recent op/ed piece on Saporta Report: Why on earth aren’t there plans to earmark dollars in either referendum to add a Peachtree streetcar?
If approved, the current plan for MARTA and City of Atlanta referendums includes raining hundreds of millions of dollars a year on expanded streetcar or light rail lines, improved bus services, new multi-use trails, and road upgrades.
Years ago, Atlanta's initial plan involved having a streetcar line specifically for the stretch of much-traveled road from downtown to Buckhead. (The plan even had slick TV commercials at one point). But, due to a lack of federal funding (and that Godzilla of economic malaise known as the Great Recession), the city only got as far as building the east-west loop.
Seeing as how one of the biggest complaints about the Atlanta Streetcar is its lack of riders, what gives? — asks the op/ed writer, Maria Saporta.
Could the addition of another line on a more peopled stretch of road in fact trigger a sea change for the Atlanta Streetcar? Perhaps we'll never know.