Plans moving forward to expand Atlanta Streetcar to Ponce City Market

·2 min read

The long-awaited expansion of the Atlanta Streetcar is moving forward.

Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach was at a meeting MARTA held on Monday night to update the public on the project.

It would be the first extension of the rail system since opening seven years ago and is expected to cost $170 million.

Plans show the streetcar extending east about one mile along Edgewood Avenue, south of the King Center, and through the Old Fourth Ward. It would then move onto the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail at Irwin Street for just over another mile north, ending at Ponce City Market.

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Some feel the expansion would help attract more riders, but others fear what sharing the Beltline would mean for safety. “As long as the streetcar is way off to the side, I don’t care. But I don’t want it right where I’m walking,” said Emily Hitron from east Atlanta.

Another BeltLine user isn’t sure he would use it, but isn’t against expanding.

“I think it would be good for transportation,” said neighbor Jorge Jaramillo. ”[I] just hope it doesn’t cause too much disturbance.”

At the meeting, MARTA told the public that design on the project, paid for by an additional half cent sales tax for MARTA transit funding, is about 30% complete on the design phase and construction is set to begin in 2024, with the streetcar expansion opening in 2027.

“We have a lot more details of what the project is going to look like, what the corridor will look like, the rail bed, the separation from the trail, trees, a lot of the visual details we didn’t have last year we will present tonight,” said MARTA Director of Communications Greg Giuffrida.

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MARTA will also host a virtual public meeting Tuesday night at 6 p.m. for anyone that couldn’t make Monday’s meeting in-person.