The Atlanta Streetcar - Standing Committee on Public Transportation

Helping to Build Livable and Sustainable
Communities for Atlanta
Richard Mendoza
Commissioner of Public Works
City of Atlanta
Creating Livable and Sustainable Communities
• Enhances livability
 Promotes pedestrian-oriented lifestyle
 Enhances neighborhoods’ character
• Enhances economic competitiveness
 Stimulates job creation and economic development
 Improves accessibility to jobs
• Enhances safe and convenient travel alternatives
 Increases connectivity among modes
 Makes pedestrian safety a priority
• Enhances environmental sustainability
 Reduces need for energy resources
 Reduces demand for surface parking
Project Overview
TIGER II Funding: $47,667 M (federal share)
• Total Project Cost $69,267 M
• Partnership
– City of Atlanta is the official applicant, and provides
funding for capital and operations
– MARTA is the designated funding recipient and operator
– Downtown CID is a project sponsor, as well as capital
and operations funding partner
Refurbished Streetcar Vehicles
• East-West Downtown Alignment
– 2.62 track miles with 12 stops
Connects Centennial Olympic Park
to MLK Historic District
• Annual Operating Costs –$1.714 M
• Refurbished Vehicles
– 3 to 4 vehicles
Project History
Atlanta Streetcar Inc. (2003): Atlanta Streetcar, Inc. was the first broad-based effort to unite the city's top business,
government and community leaders in an effort devoted to reintroducing the modern streetcar to Atlanta.
Peachtree Corridor Taskforce (2005): The Taskforce was a collaboration of the Atlanta Development Authority, Atlanta
business leaders, and in-town community improvement districts, including ADID. The Taskforce’s work evaluated the
feasibility of a streetcar, and facilitated advocacy and outreach activities.
Peachtree Corridor Partnership (2007): The Partnership was an extension of the Taskforce, formed to develop an
implementation and funding strategy for a first-phase streetcar project.
Connect Atlanta Plan (2008): The City of Atlanta’s first citywide transportation plan included a comprehensive streetcar
network and was designed to guide transportation policy and investment to advance the vision of creating a more modern,
vibrant, and sustainable city.
Downtown Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Plan (2003, 2004 and 2009): Created in 1999 by the Atlanta Regional
Commission, the LCI program encourages local jurisdictions to plan and implement strategies to create sustainable, livable
communities consistent with regional development policies. The Downtown area is covered by an adopted LCI plan: the
2009 updated Imagine Downtown plan.
Concept 3 (2008): Concept 3, adopted in 2008, is the conceptual metro Atlanta regional transit plan.
Envision 6 – 2030 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) (2007): The Atlanta Streetcar is included in the Atlanta Regional
Commission’s RTP, referred to as Envision 6.
Georgia Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and 2008 – 2013 Transportation Improvement Program
(TIP): The Atlanta Streetcar Project is included in the STIP through it inclusion in the Atlanta Regional Commission’s 20082013 TIP.
State of Georgia: Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan 2010-2030 (2010): Approved by the Governor and State
Transportation Board in 2010, the Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan recommends targeted transportation investments
based upon the 2008 “Investing in Tomorrow’s Transportation Today” analysis. The Strategic Plan recommends streetcar
service for improved mobility in metro Atlanta activity centers.
City of Atlanta Urban Redevelopment Plan (2010): The Plan cites development opportunities and recommends
transportation and pedestrian infrastructure improvements to support implementation of key City projects, including the
streetcar route and maintenance facility, which are identified for funding through Recovery Zone Economic Development
Key Elements
The Proposed Project is an East-West Segment of a Comprehensive Streetcar Network System
• Uses a modern streetcar technology running on a fixed rail line
• Operates in conjunction with mixed automobile traffic
• Stimulates economic development at the core of the City’s downtown areas by bridging
across Interstate I-75/85
• Links Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and Centennial Olympic Park, including the
Sweet Auburn District
• Serves as a “local circulator” for traveling shorter distances within Downtown, alleviating
intra-city congestion and connecting with existing transit systems (MARTA and GRTA)
Streetcar Characteristics
• Travel function: Local, with connectivity and distribution to
other systems
• Market: In-town/urban core
• Minimal/moderate Construction disruption
• Significant Potential for economic development
• Passenger capacity per vehicle is 95-110
• Maximum speed is 25-40 mph
• Average speed is 15-to-20 mph
• Overhead electric/on board electric motors
• Shared with other traffic on-street lanes
Ridership and Service Plan
– 2,600 estimated weekday boardings
Service Plan
9.9 minute one-way running time
1.31 miles one way
15-minute frequency*
2 vehicles required for regular service
Direct transfer to MARTA rail service
Proposed Schedule
– Weekday span: 5 am to 11 pm (18 hours)
– Saturday span: 8:30 am to 11 pm (14.5 hours)
– Sunday span: 9 am to 10:30 pm (13.5 hours)
*Note: Lay over at end of the line is included in frequency times
How does the Streetcar operate?
– Movements more
predictable than
regular buses
– Utilizes signalization
system to improve
traffic flow
Streetcar Stops
Shelters are low profile
and easy to construct
Faster passenger loading
Overall Benefits
• Increases foot traffic and customers for area businesses
• Connects to historic, cultural, entertainment, parks and
open space
• Expedites redevelopment
• Increases transit ridership
• Encourages healthier lifestyle with more walking, and less
• Creates higher, more stable property values
• Reduces dependence on oil and pollution
Proposed Route
• Connects Centennial Olympic Park to MLK Jr. National Historic Site via Woodruff Park
• Directly interfaces with MARTA rail and express bus services
• Improves connectivity for Georgia State University, Grady Memorial Hospital, Sweet Auburn
Livability Benefits:
Enhanced Mobility, Modal Connectivity and Access
Estimated Capital Costs
Estimated Costs
$ 9,841,162
$ 6,562,500
$ 5,720,302
$ 10,549,383
$ 6,500,400
$ 16,335,250
$ 9,134,380
$ 3,664,400
$ 69,267,777
Operations and Maintenance
Annual O & M costs approximately $1.714 M (2013)
Revenue Source
Annual Revenue
City of Atlanta Car Rental and Hotel Motel tax
(Dedicated through ordinance over 20 years)
$ 1,000,000
Downtown CID (Annual average contribution over 20 years)
Fare Revenue (20% recovery ratio policy, 2013 estimate)
Advertising and Concessions (Including naming rights, 2013 estimate)
Potential Additional Federal Support
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Funds (Total over 3 years;
first 3 years staggered 50%-33%-25% of total O&M cost)
$ 1,890,000
Atlanta Streetcar Objectives
1. State of Good Repair
Effectively Utilizes Existing Resources
• Allows for use of overhauled, previously FTAfunded vehicles
Provides Ability to Operate & Maintain
2. Economic Competitiveness
Positions Atlanta to remain competitive with other
world-class cities
Allows for efficiencies of transit-oriented
Supports redevelopment and reuse of underutilized
properties and advancement of the Economically
Disadvantaged Area
Reuse of I-75/85 Underpass for
Maintenance Facility & Museum
Downtown Atlanta – Looking West
Atlanta Streetcar Objectives (cont.)
3. Livability
Enhances Mobility
Allows for Modal Connectivity
Creates greater access for residents, students and
workers within the Economic Disadvantaged Area
Enhances mobility for Georgia State University and Grady
Memorial Hospital, and across I-75/85 to reconnect
Sweet Auburn and MLK Jr. Historic District to Downtown
Allows for Coordination of Transportation & Land Use
Policies & Community Participation
Interfaces with MARTA rail & bus, suburban express bus,
and campus shuttle bus systems
Creates Accessibility
Improves east-west transportation options through
reliable, convenient rail service
Encourages pedestrian activity
Allows for inclusion and coordination through numerous
plans and past initiatives
Supports 6 DOT/HUD/EPA Livability Principles
Atlanta Streetcar Objectives (cont.)
4. Sustainability
Promotes change of travel patterns resulting in fewer vehicles and reduced
fuel usage and pollution
Electric streetcar:
• Produces no point-source emissions
• Enables reduction in use of shuttle buses
• Enables reduction in intra-city automobile trips
Requires negligible right of way: operates within existing City streets
Promotes compact, sustainable development patterns (walkable, “live-workplay” neighborhoods)
5. Safety
Encourages diversion of trips to safer streetcar mode that will lead to reduced
automobile crash occurrences and severity
Promotes improved safety for pedestrians
Atlanta Streetcar Objectives (cont.)
6. Job Creation
(Preliminary estimates for City of Atlanta and its immediate vicinity; 20-year FTEs)
• Creates approximately 1,950 new jobs during the streetcar’s construction
• Creates approximately 460 new jobs for streetcar operations (long term)
• Creates approximately 1,580 jobs attributable to corridor development (long term)
7. Economic Stimulus
• Provides better access to Downtown hotels and tourist destinations, including the MLK
Historic Site, Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia Aquarium and future National Center
for Civil and Human Rights
• Increases probability of retail and service jobs in surrounding area
• Services newly redeveloped Renaissance Walk
• Located in the heart of the historic Sweet Auburn neighborhood
• Services Fairlie-Poplar Historic District:
• Provides access to the Rialto Theatre, Theatrical Outfit and The Tabernacle
• Services Georgia State University:
• Campus and dormitory facilities located along the streetcar alignment
Atlanta Streetcar Objectives (cont.)
8. Development Projects and New Development Opportunities
• Supports 27 development projects that are either under
construction, planned, or proposed within 2 blocks of the
streetcar line
$1.48 billion of investment already planned/underway in 27
1,786 housing units
505 student beds
545,379 square feet of office space
329,244 square feet of retail space
649 hotel rooms
Future National Center for Civil and
Human Rights
• There are 151 underutilized parcels within 2 blocks of the
proposed streetcar route, equating to a total land area of
51.695 acres with a total appraised value of approximately
$201 million.
• Includes Transit Maintenance Facility (and Transit Museum at
no cost to project)
Wheat Street Gardens Residential
Atlanta Streetcar Objectives (cont.)
9. Innovation
• Design Standards interoperable with other planned rail projects (Concept3 – future
• Leverages existing MARTA investments (maintenance facilities, Breeze System, etc.)
• Capitalized maintenance approached through anticipated use of FTA Section 5307
and 5309 funds
• Project turns “dead space” under I-75/85 freeway into an attraction
Transit museum included in maintenance facility (Note: no project funds to be
expended on museum)
10. Partnerships
• Public/Private Partnership: City, MARTA and Downtown CID
• Compatibility and Future Connection to BeltLine (Less than a mile from BeltLine
• Disciplinary Partners
Museum partners, Georgia State University (GSU), National Park Service, The King
Center, Centennial Olympic Park, Collaboration with Atlanta Neighborhood
Development Partnership and Atlanta Housing Authority
Project Readiness and NEPA
The Atlanta Streetcar is “Shovel Ready”
• Minimal non-public Right-of-Way acquisition required
• Long lead track hardware built as option into MARTA track replacement
• Vehicle procurement through partnership with MARTA
• Innovative Civil Procurement through Design/Build
… and Atlanta is Committed!
• Local matching funds have been approved and committed (31%)
• Mayor Kasim Reed is the chair of the Regional Transit Committee (RTC)
• With enabling legislation approved, the Atlanta region is advancing a 2012
referendum to approve needed funding for priority transportation projects
Thank you!
Richard Mendoza, Commissioner
Department of Public Works
55 Trinity Avenue, SW
Suite 4700
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Tel: 404.330.6240

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