Atlanta Plans for Transit Hub While Ridership Tumbles

Despite falling ridership numbers on the region's public transit system (bucking the nationwide trend), the Georgia Department of Transportation is studying options for building a multi-modal transit hub in downtown Atlanta.

Ariel Hart discusses the findings of "a preliminary report considering three designs for a passenger terminal and real estate development proposed for the 'Gulch' area of downtown Atlanta."

"The state has not yet committed to funding the project," she adds, "no matter what design is chosen. A financial feasibility report is expected this summer. Backers hope real estate development around or above the terminal could generate profits to help pay for the terminal."

With the state holding off on making its recommendation on the complex until the end of the year, officials will have plenty of time to consider the implications of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority's (MARTA) declining ridership.

"Unlike most public transit systems in the United States, last year, MARTA continued a downward spiral in declining ridership at a time when that trend should be turning around: the economy is improving; the younger Millennials favor transit more than older Baby Boomers or Gen Xers; gas prices remain high," writes Steve Visser.

"MARTA calculates its buses and trains carry 123,400 people daily to jobs, school and shopping, but since 2001 that ridership has fallen by about 15 percent on trains and 31 percent on buses, according to reports from the American Public Transit Association."

Full Story: Transit hub could stretch from park to Five Points

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