Let’s be honest, Atlanta has struggled through the years with transportation issues. Unlike other major metropolitan areas like New York City or Chicago, Atlanta public transportation has failed to get the widespread support and resources it needs. Atlanta is a car city, which is both bad for the environment (ahhhhh, sweet exhaust fumes) and bad for visitors coming into the city who may want to explore the sites.
Enter the Atlanta Streetcar, a transportation effort from the City of Atlanta, local businesses, and MARTA. The goal has been to put in place the badly-needed infrastructure that can finally connect downtown to other regions, reducing the congestion and general headache of driving downtown. The lack of affordable (if any) parking and the limited number of MARTA stations means that this new infrastructure should create a welcome improvement.
The Atlanta Streetcar is making all rides FREE for the first 3 months (end of March) so that people can have a chance to use it, which we think is an excellent idea (c’mon, who doesn’t love free samples?). To get Atlantans used to the idea of sharing the road with cars, pedestrians, streetcars, and buses, the City of Atlanta has made big efforts to promote safety. The Be Streetcar Smart campaign has some helpful tips for riders, pedestrians, and gawkers alike that will make the transition easier.
So far, the East-West route from the Martin Luther King, Jr. historic site to Centennial Park is completed, with plans on the way to create a North-South route with federal grants.
So, readers, have you had a chance to ride the streetcar? What are your thoughts on cities embracing streetcars on public transportation? Can a streetcar really be named “Desire”? Let us know what you think?
Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.