A Sneak Peek at Atlanta’s New Streetcar

Atlanta’s Streetcar Facebook page posted this “sneak peek” of the city’s new streetcars on the back of a flatbed truck.  According to the overly excited text of Thomas Wheatley…

…the vehicles are scheduled to be delivered in September to Siemens’ Cumming facility where they’ll be fitted with their propulsion systems.

30 thoughts on “A Sneak Peek at Atlanta’s New Streetcar”


  1. Is the line built already? Or close to being built? I haven’t noticed a new line in my trips to downtown.

    1. The line is not built. Utilities are currently being moved to make way for the rail line. It’s supposed to be up and running next year.

  2. Any truth to the rumor that Emory has highjacked the train and rails and put them from Lindbergh to Clifton campus?

    PS: It’s awfully cute. I hope it gets the ridership it needs to be considered successful.

  3. Love the idea, can’t help but think there wouldn’t be better places for something like this to go. I’m sure it will be used by residents, but in a different location it could be used by a wider number of people, more than just residents and tourists anyhow. I’m sure that’s not a cool thing to say, but whatever.

    1. A lighter shade of blue is Georgia State University’s school color. It will serve its students well.

  4. The fare is high and the frequency is low. Stops in opposite directions will not be across from each other. Maria Saporta wrote about it last year. Hopefully it will work well and generate support for expanded services, but I am not optimistic.

      1. Yes, provided changes are made. MARTA also has potential. So does Atlantic Station. So does the Beltline. So does Ponce City Market. Potential is not the same as actually achieving the desired result. The current plan is flawed but there’s clearly potential.

  5. More of our tax dollars wasted. This streetcar is never going to get sufficient ridership to be remotely considered successful. Boondoggle.

    1. That’s what they said in Portland, Houston, Tampa, New Orleans — all outstanding successes now that spurred dramatic economic redevelopment.

      1. Write your Congressman. (It was his idea.)

        I am looking forward to slick transporation that connects the World Congress Center to the King Center and serves GSU’s growing population.

        It will be of service to visitors and students, i.e., those who don’t have preconceived notions about our city.

        1. And along the way, it could change some of our notions. I well remember when theTampa waterfront north of downtown was considered an
          Irredeemable wasteland…

    2. This is the Saporta column I referenced above. I agree that other cities have been successful with new streetcars, but Atlanta seems to be the king of well-intentioned half measures. If they make some changes to increase service and keep fares low, I think you will get some good ridership and make a case that expansion makes sense. If not, I think it will be more ammo for the anti-government/anti-transit folks.

      http://saportareport.com/blog/2011/11/atlanta-streetcar-holds-great-potential-%e2%80%94-but-only-if-trains-run-often-and-connect-key-destinations/

      1. Let’s return to the Tampa example. The TECO trolley connected downtown and its hotels (not nearly as many as in downtown Atlanta) to a badly aging but historic ethnic neighborhood (Cuban, in this case) with a smattering of restaurants and bars. It ran infrequently and closed down early. But ridership began to build. A decade or so later, that neighborhood — Ybor City — is the nightclub and restaurant hub of Tampa, and the area in between downtown and Ybor has filled in with hotels, condos and other eateries. Fare for the trolleys? $2.50 each way for a journey about the same length as Atlanta’s will make. And the frequency has increased with ridership.
        My favorite example, though, is my rock-ribbed conservative brother, a lawyer in Cincinnati. He hated the trolly being proposed there, and used the B-word to describe it. But once it was clear it would be built (part of the same tranche of stimulus funds Atlanta got), he bought a building on the line and is moving his main office there. And he’s hardly alone.
        I know in this tea party day and age that the idea of investing in the future is out of fashion, but it works if folks just exercise a little imagination.

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