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Heritage Trolley Site
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Atlanta - February 2015

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Atlanta — Operating Costs Rise, Ridership Low

February 2015

Atlanta's new downtown streetcar will cost 50% more than anticipated to run, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution. The cost was projected at $3.2 million per year but now is expected to rise to $4.8 million. The increase in cost is due to extra oversight by MARTA after the Federal Transit Administration rejected the City's plan to operate the line themselves unless there is some oversight from MARTA. The first year of MARTA's services will cost $575,000 the first year. This will decrease to $500,000 in the second year, then will zero out in subsequent years.

Additional expenses of about $1 million per year will cover a new office dedicated to seeking federal funding.

After six weeks of service, the number of riders carried by the new streetcars is 102,000, less than the 124,800 forecast. Fares are free during the first three months of operation. However, officials are satisfied with the growth of ridership. They anticipate more riders will come as people become more familiar with the service.


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