Chattanooga Mayor: No Chance for High-Speed Rail to Atlanta
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke "says a 17-year-old plan to connect the Scenic City to Atlanta with a bullet train is likely stopped in its tracks," according to an article by Louie Brogdon. Mayor Berke told Brogdon and other reporters from the Chattanooga Times Free Press that the project lacks the political will or the funding to come to fruition.
A separate article by Tasnim Shamma describes the proposed project: "The high-speed rail line would extend 110 miles along Interstate 75 from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to downtown Chattanooga. It’s been in the planning stages since 1998."
The project was viable enough a few years ago to receive a $13.8 million federal grant for environmental studies. Chattanooga spent $1.3 million of its own money on the same study, while Georgia added $1.5 million.
Brogdon also reports that Chattanooga is moving forward with a feasibility study to explore the possibility of converting some of the city's seldom used rail lines into a light rail public transit system.