Details of the Atlanta Streetcar’s transition to MARTA will take months to negotiate. No timeline has been announced for the change in management.
“We are working with city officials to come to an intergovernmental agreement surrounding future operations of the streetcar,” said MARTA spokesman Erik Burton.
MARTA recently took the first official step towards acquiring the streetcar, which is currently hemorrhaging cash.
When the Atlanta Streetcar began charging $1 per ride last year, ridership initially declined but has since grown 10 percent during the first five months of 2017.
But passenger fares cover only about 4.5 percent of the cost of operating the streetcar. Fares are estimated to account for $237,650 of the streetcar’s $5.3 million operating and maintenance budget for 2017, according to city budget figures.
The rest of the streetcar’s funding comes from federal grants, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District contributions, Atlanta car rental and hotel/motel taxes, and advertising revenue.
Meanwhile, the streetcar has addressed dozens of safety concerns from state regulators who threatened to shut it down.
The Georgia Department of Transportation reported this month that city officials have fixed or are on track to fix 66 safety and maintenance problems cited in state and federal audits.
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