Atlanta Streetcar riders see potential for growth

The Atlanta Streetcar is clean, air-conditioned and cheap. Yet on a typical weekday, its riders are few.

The Centennial Olympic Park stop sits beneath the shadow of the Skyview Atlanta ferris wheel. But Anthony Murdock, who works security for Skyview, said he rarely sees anyone using the Streetcar, except when events are going on.

“I work here from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, and I hardly see anyone using it,” Murdock said.

Traffic picks up around noon, as people use the Streetcar to get across downtown for lunch. Many of the riders are tourists using it to travel to sites such as Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia State University, the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District, Woodruff Park and the Peachtree Center MARTA Station.

Tour guides suggested that first-time Atlanta visitor Gavin Schachat, a native of Capetown, South Africa, use the Streetcar as an easy way to reach tourist destinations. While purchasing a ticket was a challenge(there are separate ticket machines for riders with international credit and debit cards), Schachat said he is “sure it will be worthwhile.”

Locals do use the Streetcar, but make up much less of the ridership, which is up nearly 10 percent in the past five months since the city instituted a minimum $1 fee for a one-way ticket in 2016. Chris Terrell, a lifelong Atlantan, said he rides the Streetcar several times a week. “I like it because you have your AC on. It’s comfortable, and it’s clean. You get your money’s worth.”

To better service locals, Terrell said he’d like to see the current 2.7 mile route expanded. The city has plans to ultimately construct a 53-mile streetcar and light-rail network across the city. But first, it has to fix all 66 problems outlined by state and federal auditors concerning the Streetcar’s safety, security, maintenance and operation. The Georgia Department of Transportation says the city is on track to complete those improvements by the end of the month.

Murdock thinks more people should take advantage of the Streetcar. “It’s pretty,” Murdock said when asked his favorite thing about the Streetcar. “But unless there’s event like an SEC Championship game or an Atlanta Hawks game when there’s a couple people, no one uses it on an average day.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Florida airport shooter sentenced to five life terms plus 120 years in prison
Florida airport shooter sentenced to five life terms plus 120 years in prison

An Alaska man who opened fire at a Florida airport in January 2017 was sentenced to five life terms plus 120 years in prison on Friday, WTVJ reported. >> Read more trending news  Esteban Santiago, 28, pleaded guilty in May to the shooting in the baggage area at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that left five people...
Kansas postal worker finds large red-tailed boa on mailbox
Kansas postal worker finds large red-tailed boa on mailbox

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds, according to the old post office adage. >> Read more trending news  Snakes are another matter, however. Especially big ones. On Friday, the Overland Park Police Department reported that a postal worker found an 8-foot...
Man wins $875K slot machine jackpot at Detroit casino
Man wins $875K slot machine jackpot at Detroit casino

A 50-year-old man turned a $20 investment into six figures Wednesday, winning $875,527 in a slot machine at a Detroit casino, WXYZ reported. >> Read more trending news   The man, who requested anonymity, won after putting $20 into the Wheel of Fortune Double Diamond slot machine at the Greektown Casino-Hotel, the television station...
Fulton County restaurant inspection scores

Fulton County • Flavor Café, 236 Johnson Ferry Road, Atlanta. 91/A • Hudson Grille, 120 Marietta St., Atlanta. 88/B • The Original J.R. Crickets, 129 North Ave., Atlanta. 77/C • The Peking Restaurant, 3461 Roosevelt Highway, Red Oak. 96/A • Wild Flour, 5815 Windward Parkway, Alpharetta. 100/A
Douglas County restaurant inspection scores

Douglas County • El Don Tequilas, 6077 Fairburn Road, Douglasville. 91/A • Hunan Chinese Restaurant, 6105 Fairburn Road, Douglasville. 85/B • Martin’s Restaurant, 5796 Fairburn Road, Douglasville. 88/B • Taqueria Don Claudio, 6945 Sweetwater Road, Lithia Springs. 77/C • Wing N Burger Factory, 6071 Fairburn Road, Douglasville...
More Stories