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Atlanta - March 2011

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Atlanta — Streetcar Line Will Use LRVs

Rail Transit Online, March 2011

The proposed 2.6-mi. (4.2 km) downtown streetcar line linking Atlanta's Martin Luther King Jr. Center with Centennial Olympic Park will be equipped with new Siemens S70 Avanto light rail vehicles instead of secondhand cars as originally planned. On Mar. 7 the Atlanta City Council approved $9 million to supplement a $47-million federal economic stimulus grant, allowing the S70 purchase.

However, acquiring the more expensive LRVs depends on the city receiving sufficient funding, as the streetcar is one of 75 public works projects deleted from a House-passed spending bill by the Republican majority. The measure's fate in the Senate is uncertain, with several GOP senators indicating they won't go along with their House colleagues and will vote to restore spending on at least some of the cancelled schemes.

The Atlanta project is a significantly scaled-down version of a two-line system that would have run 9.2 mi. (14.8 km) along Peachtree Street, connecting with a four-mile (6.4 km) circulator that would have served major tourist attractions and traffic generators within the downtown area. According to Duriya Farooqui, Atlanta's deputy chief operating officer, streetcar construction will begin this fall.


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