Expansion Planned for Atlanta Streetcar

A proposed expansion of Atlanta's beleaguered downtown streetcar could turn the 'novelty' line into a truly useful transportation option in the car-centric city.

1 minute read

December 22, 2021, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Atlanta streetcar

Central Atlanta Progress: Lauren Holley / Flickr

Josh Green reports on expansion plans for Atlanta's downtown streetcar, which, in its current 2.7-mile incarnation, only receives around 4,000 weekly rides and primarily serves tourists and the occasional sports fans. To put that number in perspective, writes Green, MARTA's heavy rail system saw close to 300,000 weekly rides in 2021, a number dramatically reduced from prior years by the pandemic. 

While some see the streetcar, which opened in 2015, as a waste of taxpayer money, others want to see it expanded and connected to more areas. That's the plan for MARTA, which plans to expand the streetcar loop to the city's east side and "finally transform it from a tourist-supported novelty to a useful, local transportation option." The $225-million expansion will be funded by the More MARTA sales tax and connect the current line to the BeltLine and the Old Fourth Ward retail hub.

Earlier this year, MARTA's board authorized a feasibility study to assess the potential for extending the streetcar into the BeltLine corridor in preparation for requesting federal funding for the project.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 in Urbanize Atlanta

View of Mount Hood at golden hour with Happy Valley, Oregon homes in foreground.

Clackamas County Votes to Allow ADUs, Residential RVs

County officials hope the zoning changes will help boost the housing supply in the region.

June 18, 2024 - Mountain Times

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Aerial view of intersection in New York City with yellow cabs and zebra crosswalks.

Planners’ Complicity in Excessive Traffic Deaths

Professor Wes Marshall’s provocatively-titled new book, "Killed by a Traffic Engineer," has stimulated fierce debates. Are his criticisms justified? Let’s examine the degree that traffic engineers contribute to avoidable traffic deaths.

June 13, 2024 - Todd Litman

Digital drawing of person holding city skyline with wifi symbols and lines indicating smart cities or data.

Cities Awarded for Data-Driven Projects

The What Cities Works Certification recognizes cities for using data to solve real problems.

June 21 - Smart Cities Dive

The Basilica of St. Joseph in San Jose, California.

Faith-Based Housing Movement Grows

More churches and municipalities are saying ‘Yes in God’s Backyard.’

June 21 - Vox

Close-up of red and white BUS LANE sign painted in street lane.

Why BRT Can Benefit Cities More Than Rail

Bus rapid transit lines offer a less expensive, quicker-build alternative to rail that can bring other infrastructure improvements with it.

June 21 - Governing

City Planner I

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner II

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner Supervisor

Department of Housing and Community Development

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.