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Atlanta - January 2016

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Atlanta — GDOT Safety Concerns

January 2016

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is raising concerns about the operation of the 2.7-mile starter modern streetcar line including safety concerns and high staff turnover.

GDOT alleges that confusion exists between the city and MARTA over t heir exact responsibilities in running the streetcar; nearly half of “safety-critical” positions are unfilled; training is inadequate for many workers; maintenance is not being undertaken properly; the city has not implemented drug and alcohol testing mandated by federal law and has not followed procedures in reporting accident information to state officials.

GDOT's review of the streetcar was done in late October 2015 — two months after city officials, on an emergency basis, handed streetcar management to a private firm. Based on the review, the state agency proposed 55 actions to correct the identified problems. This followed a Federal Transit Administration report in September outlining “continuing concerns with the safety and operation” of the system.

MARTA reported that they are still reviewing the GDOT report's proposed actions.

Responding to GDOT in November, City Chief Operating Officer Dan Gordon and MARTA Chief Operating Officer Richard Krisak stated the system is safe and has made “significant progress” in addressing issues raised. They also said hiring and training is underway.


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