A rendering of the streetcar at Ponce City Market. (Courtesy MARTA)

The MARTA Board of Directors’ Planning and Capital Programs Committee today selected a team led by architecture and engineering firm HDR to complete the final design for the Streetcar East Extension. 

The extension of the streetcar from Downtown to the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail then up to Ponce City Market will cost approximately $230 million and is funded through the More MARTA half-penny sales tax.

Construction on the extension will get underway in 2025 with service scheduled to begin in 2028, according to a press release from MARTA.

The MARTA board recently finalized the alignment for the two-mile extension, which runs along Edgewood Avenue, Randolph Street, Auburn Avenue, and Irwin Street to the Atlanta Beltline, then turns north to Ponce City Market, with five stops along the route.

HDR has extensive experience with streetcar projects, having provided engineering, architectural, environmental, and construction work on streetcar projects in over 30 cities in North America, according to a press release.

“MARTA is keenly focused on delivering the nine priority projects identified in the recent resequencing process by 2028,” said Carrie Rocha, Chief Capital Officer for MARTA. “Moving into final design is a critical milestone for this project.”

“We’re excited to continue to partner with MARTA and the City of Atlanta on this priority project to fulfill the promise of high-quality transit on the Atlanta BeltLine and bring more accessibility to all,” said Clyde Higgs, President and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “We look forward to additional community conversations around the Streetcar design as it progresses toward final design.”

To learn more about the extension, visit Streetcar East Virtual Meeting (scoutfeedback.com).

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.