The council voted on the plan Tuesday as an amendment to the city’s Connect Atlanta Plan. The streetcar system plan will serve as a framework for a potential Fulton County TSPLOST referendum in 2016 and is a necessary requirement for any major transit project seeking federal funding from the Federal Transit Administration. This action by the City Council now enables the city to apply for large scale federal transportation funding.
“Transit is at the heart of the Atlanta BeltLine”, stated Paul Morris, Atlanta BeltLine President and CEO. “Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., the City of Atlanta, and MARTA have worked collaboratively to advance transit on the Atlanta BeltLine and in the city, through planning studies and the federal process and today’s action by the City Council is significant in helping us to continue to move forward.”
“Atlanta is a city that brings people together and connects them to opportunities,” said Councilmember Andre Dickens, who sits on the Atlanta BeltLine board and sponsored the legislation. “The Atlanta Streetcar System Plan is a 50 mile system that connects Atlanta’s people to jobs, vibrant neighborhoods and world-class entertainment opportunities. This plan, when implemented, will solidify our city’s commitment to improving social equity and increasing economic mobility for all of our citizens.”
Approval of the expansion came after a proposed streetcar line along Peachtree to Buckhead was removed from the plan after community outcry and concern from council members. In October, the city was turned down for federal funding to expand the existing 2.7 mile streetcar line in Downtown to connect with the Eastside Trail of the BeltLine.