Atlanta’s downtown streetcar wins funding

Long-planned project that envisions 2.6-mile route connecting Centennial Olympic Park to Edgewood and Auburn avenues gets the green light


  • Peachtree Streetcar

Congressman John Lewis tells the AJC’s Bob Keefe the $70 million project planned to connect Centennial Olympic Park to Edgewood and Auburn Avenues with a streetcar has won a large chunk of the cash it requested:WASHINGTON — In a major coup for the city of Atlanta, the U.S. Department of Transportation has agreed to grant the city of Atlanta $47 million for the proposed downtown streetcar project, according to U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta.

Lewis’ office said he got confirmation of the award in a conversation with DOT Secretary Ray LaHood on Friday morning.

“In my conversation with Secretary LaHood this morning he reiterated his belief that it was a good and necessary project and one that deserved federal funding,” Lewis said in a statement. “Not only does this project offer citizens and visitors to the downtown area another option for transportation, it will also provide green jobs and support economic development.”Mayor Kasim Reed in recent months had made several trips to Washington, D.C. to lobby for the project. The downtown streetcar line faced tough competition in a battle for a much smaller batch of funding. (Click here to download a PDF of the city’s application — which includes specifics regarding its route, funding, operations and maintenance.)

Updates galore and additional details can be found after the jump.