Shuttle service still green-lit for stadium
by Jon Gillooly
March 03, 2014 12:04 AM | 740 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA - The county is moving forward with creating a shuttle service to help with traffic in preparation for the new Atlanta Braves stadium expected to open in 2017. 

The shuttle, which would operate within the 5.5-square-mile Cumberland Community Improvement District, is projected to cost $900,000 to assemble and about $850,000 in annual operating costs, said Faye DiMassimo, the county's transportation director.

The county has issued a request for proposals to hire a consulting firm to design the system.

County Chairman Tim Lee hopes to hire the firm in April - with it providing the plan nine to 12 months later - well before the stadium opens. 

"The circulator is what we are going to provide as part of the transportation solution for the stadium," Lee said. 

While it's unclear whether the vehicle will be a trolley, bus or tram, it will use rubber wheels. 

"So let's say you work in one of the office towers and you want to go to the mall to have lunch," Lee said. "You can just get on the circulator and that will take you and drop you off in front of the food court and pick you up when you get done." 

Lee said the county will pay for the shuttle service by using some of the revenues collected by charging hotels and motels in the Cumberland CID a fee of $3 a room per night. The $3 fee is expected to generate $2.7 million annually.

DiMassimo said the consultant will determine if a fare is charged and what that ticket price would be. 

The $900,000 estimate for capital costs would go to purchase vehicles and whatever bus stations are recommended. 

"They could be nothing more than a sign. It could be a shelter. It could be a bench," Lee said. 

The closest system in the region is the Buc - Buckhead Uptown Connection - a shuttle service that provides connections between office buildings, transit stops and shopping destinations, DiMassimo said. 

There is no fare to ride the Buc, according to its website. It's paid for by the Buckhead Community Improvement District and with federal tax dollars.

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