Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Streetcar ride

The Atlanta Streetcar is finally up and running.  It took a quick ride last week.  Rode west from Peachtree Center to Centennial Olympic Park and back.  Took a few pictures.

A few observations:

The whole deal has been much critized. "No one will ride it."  "It's not useful."

Some of the criticism is valid.  The route could be better.  Stopping on the east side of the park, it misses some of the big hotels and attractions that are on the west side of the park, plus the World Congress Convention Center and Philips Arena.

None-the-less, the two mid-day, weekdays trains I rode had respectable ridership.  About 15 on the westbound train and 35 on the eastbound train.  Headway seemed about 15 minutes (which is too long!)

The vehicles themselves are really nice.  Clean, bright, smooth, quiet.

Operating on traffic lanes on city streets works okay, but speeds are very slow. I think we topped out at 18 mph between stops and spent lots of time waiting for lights.  They seem to use the park stop at the west end as a timing stop.  They dwell there was about 10 minutes for the two trains I observed, so there is a lot of slop in their current schedules.

Overall, I'll give it a "B".  Hopefully, they'll be able to speed things up and decrease the headway once they've been at this for a while.

Arriving Peachtree Center

High Tech controls

At the east side of the park

Headed back towark the King Center

Next train arriving Centennial Olympic Park

I used MARTA to get to and from my office.  MARTA is much maligned but is really pretty decent.  Improvements continue to be made and there are supposed to increased operating frequency soon.  New prez. Parker seems to have a clear idea of what he's doing.

MARTA Peachtree Center Station - new, brighter lighting!

New, better info board - same old headways. though

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