Georgia Transit Connector is a collaborative effort among Atlanta’s political, business and transit communities to bring to fruition critical infrastructure that will connect the metro area and the greater region. Partnership and innovation, key qualifiers for the federal government’s TIGER Discretionary Grant program, are exhibited by this joint effort involving the City of Atlanta, the Downtown and Midtown improvement districts, and MARTA.
Each of the players in this unique public-private partnership contributes essential resources and perspectives for planning and implementing the streetcar system, and ultimately, bringing the City a step closer to its long-term regional transportation vision, the Connect Atlanta Plan.
Acting as a consultant to the City of Atlanta, MARTA has contributed transit expertise and logistical assistance, and will be the channel for any federal funds awarded to the project through the Federal Transit Administration. MARTA’s involvement helps ensure an efficient integration of the streetcar into the City’s existing heavy rail and planned light rail systems.
The Downtown and Midtown business and residential communities are represented in this process through the involvement of the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District and the Midtown Improvement District. As the economic development of these areas is one of Georgia Transit Connector’s primary goals, the business community’s insight will continue to be valuable during and after construction.
The City of Atlanta is the largest city in the State of Georgia and considered the unofficial capital of the south. With over 3,500 employees and a $541 million annual budget, the Atlanta City government is responsible for the day to day operations of the City of Atlanta ensuring that the City is safe and clean, maintains strong infrastructure, is transparent and fiscally responsible, and is efficient and effective in the delivery of services.
The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, founded in 1995 by Central Atlanta Progress, is a public-private partnership that strives to create a livable environment for Downtown Atlanta. With a board of directors of nine private- and public-sector leaders, ADID is funded through a community improvement district. The District currently contains 220 blocks within an area generally bounded by North Avenue on the north, Memorial Drive on the south, Piedmont Avenue and the Downtown Connector on the east, and the Norfolk-Southern rail line on the west.
The Midtown Improvement District (MID) is a public improvement district created to offer enhanced safety, maintenance, and capital improvements in Midtown Atlanta. The MID enables commercial property owners to play a pivotal role in implementing the Blueprint, a master plan envisioned by the community and spearheaded by Midtown Alliance. The District is an area generally bounded by I-85 on the north, Pine Street on the south, Williams Street on the west and Piedmont Park/10th Street and Juniper on the east.
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is the ninth largest transit system in the United States and has provided combined bus, rail and paratransit service to DeKalb and Fulton Counties and the City of Atlanta for 30 years. MARTA serves as the backbone of a growing regional transit network operating 130 bus routes and 38 rail stations on nearly 48 miles of track. MARTA provides transportation for over 500,000 passenger boardings each weekday and helps to remove more than 185,000 cars off Metro Atlanta roads each day. As the only multi-modal transit system in the state, MARTA is an over $6 billion public asset that offers a unique competency and expertise to the state and region. MARTA serves as a significant economic catalyst attracting major companies and international events to the Metro area, providing transportation to employment centers throughout the region, and offering a direct connection to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport which is considered the world’s busiest airport. In 1996 MARTA served as the official transportation provider for the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.