May 15, 2014

City of Atlanta, MARTA to operate streetcar

Courtesy Atlanta Streetcar

Courtesy Atlanta Streetcar
The Atlanta Streetcar will be jointly managed by the City of Atlanta and MARTA, the City and MARTA announced this week in conjunction with their project partner, the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID).

RELATED: Atlanta Revisits its Streetcar 'Routes' to Help Revitalize City

In the official notice to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the three project partners outlined the organizational structure, highlighting the expertise of MARTA, the technical capacity of the City’s Streetcar team and the cost efficiency of the joint approach. The plan requires the approval of the ADID and MARTA Board of Directors.

In its first year, the Atlanta Streetcar is projected to cost approximately $3.9 million to operate and maintain. Projected expense costs drop to $3.5 million in years two through four. Opting for the joint City-MARTA operational approach rather than a private contractor to run the system will save in excess of $5 million in the first five years.

“The Atlanta Streetcar is a transformational project that will have a significant impact on Atlantan’s mobility and the economic vitality of the city,” said Mayor Reed.

“After careful consideration of several operations and maintenance models, we determined this approach to be the most cost efficient in meeting system objectives and required technical expertise,” said ADID President A.J. Robinson. “ADID is pleased with the decision and looks forward to a successful, upcoming project launch.”

The organizational structure is based on the organization charts and the command lines of transit agencies with similar sized streetcar systems, and includes specialized technical oversight from the FTA and Georgia Department of Transportation. The Streetcar Management Committee, consisting of ADID and the City with technical advice from MARTA, will set operational policy for the system.

MARTA will oversee all management and staff for the system’s operations and maintenance functions for the first year. After that, the three project partners, with the approval of rail transit regulators, will transition operations to the City.

The City will create an Office of Transit and FTA Administration that will administer the City’s FTA grantee status and provide oversight and strategic direction for its transit operations. Tim Borchers, the City’s Streetcar Executive Director and Rich Krisak, MARTA’s Chief Operating Officer have the rail transit industry experience and expertise necessary to ensure a safe and professional operation of the Atlanta Streetcar.

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