DOT Secretary touts Atlanta streetcar project

ERRIN HAINES Associated Press Published:

ATLANTA (AP) -- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed kicked off the construction of the city's $94 million streetcar project, which they say will be a catalyst for jobs and economic development and a boon for the downtown tourism district.

About half of the funding for the project comes from a federal grant the city won in 2010. The streetcar will run on a 2.6-mile route with stops at major attractions including the World of Coca-Cola, the CNN Center, the Georgia Aquarium and the historic Auburn Avenue district, home to the birthplace of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Supporters are touting the project as the first phase of what could be city and region wide transportation efforts that will also attract businesses to a long-depressed economic area.