2/14: Streetcars worth the investment?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Ground has been broken on construction of a new streetcar line in downtown Atlanta. The federal government is funding about half the cost, which the city estimates at $84.7 million.

Critics point to expensive subsidies needed to build and run streetcars, while supporters I spoke with claim the economic runoff in jobs and infrastructure is well worth the investment.

What do you think?

34 comments Add your comment


February 13th, 2012
10:17 pm

The crackhead connector


February 13th, 2012
10:09 pm

Think of the infrastructure upgrades and improvements metroploiltan Atlanta desperately needs, then think about the $84.7 million dumped into this streetcar to nowhere. Within 5 to 10 years it’ll be gone.


February 13th, 2012
9:50 pm

You should build transportation where people actually want to go, not some depressed area that’s sad to look at. This is a foolish waste of money.


February 13th, 2012
9:00 pm

The private sector should decide if they are a good “investment.” Instead, the decisioni will be made by the parasitic government class and the flunkies that benefit from the theft of millions of dollars from the productive sector of society. Government doesn’t “invest”, it steals and gives to friends. There may be jobs involved, but those are balanced against the jobs that are taken from the productive sector and what the productive sector might have done with the money instead.

If you as a private citizen think that these are a good idea, contribute your own damn money. Stop using the power and force of government to steal what you wouldn’t have the courage to come and try and take from me yourself – cowards.


February 13th, 2012
8:57 pm

But, what we really need is something that connects the west side of the connector from Atlantic Station to GA Tech with Downtown/Midtown.

There is a smidgen of “downtown” life in Atlanta. The area around Centennial Olympic Park, Broadway and Peachtree up through the I-85 overpass, Midtown on Peachtree from the Fox through the Arts Center area, and Atlantic Station.

That’s what we need a trolley to connect….


February 13th, 2012
8:38 pm

Sure. Why not? It’s a better investment than the I-85 HOT lanes, the I-85/GA316 interchange, any proposed “improvement” for I-75,etc. etc. It’s cheaper to run than those HOT lanes, too.


February 13th, 2012
8:26 pm

A streetcar should take you through interesting places where a person can hop on and off. It is not a transporation system to get from point A to B. Sadly there is very little downtown Atlanta that would warrant anyone riding this streetcar at night since almost nothing is open except for the big hotels. You can shoot a cannon off in downtown Atlanta at night and most weekends and not endanger a life.
I love mass transit but I think this is a boondoggle.


February 13th, 2012
8:23 pm

I was downtown Atlanta on the weekend. I met 2 visitors from Italy who had just arrived. They were looking for ‘downtown’ meaning, restaurants, shops , cafes. Sadly I had to tell them there is nothing downtown except for a very few restaurants, lots of big hotels at night. I love mass transit but I have to say I think a trolley car is a waste of money. There is so much need elsewhere in the city where this money could have been spent that would have encouraged development .


February 13th, 2012
7:14 pm

if there was a reason to jump on and off between stops then maybe. But dowtown has no points of interest between point a and point b. shopping, etc.

Native Atlantan

February 13th, 2012
6:42 pm

No…no and no. There is no way the “streetcar to no where” makes any sense in Atlanta. We need an integrated transit solution, not one-off projects with absolutely no return for the citizens.