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Old 12-30-2014, 06:01 PM
 
Location: O4W
3,744 posts, read 3,713,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnetar View Post
I took a ride today, actually a couple of rides. My impressions: The streetcar is popular. Obviously we won't know for months what demand is like for the Streetcar under normal conditions, and with fares in place. But there were about 20 times the number of people riding this afternoon than I expected. My plan was to wait until 3pm because I figured everyone who came to the grand opening would have rode and gotten tired of it by then. But the streetcars were packed. I saw senior citizens riding and listened to one reminisce about riding them as a child in Atlanta 50 years ago. I saw college students, tourists, families, and one guy who proclaimed himself to be a "transit geek." I saw the British guy from the Peachtree Center MARTA video on Youtube. I waited on the platform behind a group of tourists who had no idea it was the first day of operation, and couldn't believe A) Atlanta had a streetcar, B) it was free, and C) it was packed.

I rode it from Peachtree Center to the Curb Market. It was my first time there, and they were clearly benefiting from the new influx of visitors. The restaurants that close between lunch and dinner are going to want to start rethinking that strategy on the weekends and holidays. The recording announces what's at each stop and I was surprised at the number of significant places newly served by rail transit. People like to moan about it only being 2.7 miles, but those are really important miles. Aside from a couple of stops that were nearly empty (Dobbs Plaza, Park Place) there were lots of people getting on and off at each stop.

The negatives, dedicated to Corndog: It's slow, largely because it clearly does not have signal priority. (Yet, I hope?) I made the loop in 40 minutes. I suck at math but that's less than 5 miles per hour. It's definitely still faster than walking -- not that I would walk this entire route, ever -- but it's definitely not faster than driving. The attraction if you have a car is not having to deal with the hassle and cost of traffic and parking. And I'm going to use it for exactly that reason. I really hope the signal priority they described starts working, or starts working better than it is now, because the vast majority of the time spent in the car was spent sitting in traffic. And the 15 minute headways are brutal when you're sitting at a streetcar stop, which are right on or in the street surrounded by traffic. Especially compared to MARTA, which was running trains every 5 minutes today (and was also packed).

The people riding seemed to be genuinely excited. Young people who I'd expect to be above it all were taking selfies on board. The older people seemed to really enjoy it, especially the ones who are used to riding buses (though they seemed bewildered by the number of people on board). I've been saying for a while that I thought they knew what they were doing when they chose this route for the first phase. I think experience will bear that out; people are going to have reasons to ride this thing, and as soon as they do, they're going to want more of them... particularly on the Beltline where there isn't so much goddamn traffic. Also, I heard like 5 people say they couldn't believe it wasn't running all night on new year's eve. They really blew that one.

Overall though the thing is nice, a lot nicer than I expected. And I'm going to have fun exploring the places I can get to more easily now. I just hope they speed it up and add more streetcars to the road.
Wonderful overview.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:15 PM
 
Location: N.C. for now... Atlanta future
1,243 posts, read 1,038,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPD View Post
I also wouldn't be surprised if the crackheads that loiter in the middle of Auburn Ave start getting flattened.
Oh what a shame...
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,554 posts, read 3,048,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
It does for the first 3 months

But I don't think it does once they start charging. Hopefully they will develop an integrated pass at some point. Maybe $100 a month for both?
I talked to one of the Downtown Ambassadors (the guys in safari hats around Peachtree Center) that was on board the car. He said that there will be breeze card machines at the stops. If you plan to transfer back and forth between MARTA and the car, then load monetary value onto your breeze card as opposed to trips (it'll save you cash) like one does when transferring to the other transit systems. Attendents on the cars themselves will check for proof of payment, though i'm not certain how.

I didn't know that you could do things like pay for parking and stuff like that with the breeze cards, or that they were actually a third party company! They're actually quite versatile...

Streetcar
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
23,444 posts, read 17,589,102 times
Reputation: 5428
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwarden View Post
I talked to one of the Downtown Ambassadors (the guys in safari hats around Peachtree Center) that was on board the car. He said that there will be breeze card machines at the stops. If you plan to transfer back and forth between MARTA and the car, then load monetary value onto your breeze card as opposed to trips (it'll save you cash) like one does when transferring to the other transit systems. Attendents on the cars themselves will check for proof of payment, though i'm not certain how.

I didn't know that you could do things like pay for parking and stuff like that with the breeze cards, or that they were actually a third party company! They're actually quite versatile...

Streetcar
I think monthly breezecard holders should not have to any for the streetcar. Its already $98.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Decatur, GA
5,300 posts, read 4,037,496 times
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I agree, existing MARTA pass holders should definitely be able to use the passes on the streetcar in both directions, while cash riders should be able to transfer to the streetcar (but not from).

So where does the route "begin" and "end?" It's a loop, but the drivers will obviously need a break, so where does that happen or do the drivers just trade off without prolonging any particular stop?
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,554 posts, read 3,048,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
I think monthly breezecard holders should not have to any for the streetcar. Its already $98.
Unfortunately, I didn't think to ask about the monthly holders passes. I'm not sure how they work since the streetcar has its own monthly pass price.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:59 PM
 
Location: North Atlanta
5,443 posts, read 3,841,408 times
Reputation: 2979
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattCW View Post
I agree, existing MARTA pass holders should definitely be able to use the passes on the streetcar in both directions, while cash riders should be able to transfer to the streetcar (but not from).
Agreed, and I see that happening sooner rather than later.
Quote:
So where does the route "begin" and "end?" It's a loop, but the drivers will obviously need a break, so where does that happen or do the drivers just trade off without prolonging any particular stop?
They'll probably trade off near the maintenance facility stops.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:06 PM
 
Location: In your feelings
2,199 posts, read 1,597,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulch View Post
Agreed, and I see that happening sooner rather than later.

They'll probably trade off near the maintenance facility stops.
This is what happened. When the streetcar stopped at Dobbs Plaza (right next to the maintenance facility) they switched drivers. It did take an extra minute or two.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:46 PM
 
Location: O4W
3,744 posts, read 3,713,224 times
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The inaugural ride shuttled elected officials, civic leaders, and media from the $98 million transit line's maintenance facility from under I-75 to Woodruff Park. After a brass band and invocation started the event, Mayor Kasim Reed said that the project was already yielding results. More than $400 million in new construction investment could be found within five miles of Woodruff Park stop, he said. The project would play a key role in transporting the more than 45 million tourists who visit the city each year. It would also help make Atlanta denser and more walkable *the type of place where people of all ages want to live and work.

A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress, echoed this idea. To the people who doubted the project, which*ran roughly $6 million over budget*and behind schedule, he said simply: "We did not build this for you." The streetcar is an investment in future generations, Robinson argued, a point repeated by MARTA CEO and General Manager Keith Parker. "These are not projects for right now," Parker said.

What's next for the transit vehicle? Reed said he envisions it connecting to the Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail next *and he thinks the city could be competitive for federal funding that could make the extension happen.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Decatur, GA
5,300 posts, read 4,037,496 times
Reputation: 2824
Eh, I take issue with the development "within 5 miles." I could believe within a quarter mile of the route, but 5 miles is a bit much to tie it to the streetcar.
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