MARTA sidelines streetcars over safety concerns

The Atlanta Streetcar has been sidelined due to safety concerns.

For people who work downtown or attend university classes, the blue cable cars are a familiar sight.

Now, all the cars have been taken off the tracks pending an overhaul of the wheels and other equipment.

Weekly inspections showed wear and tear in 2022. Toward the end of the year, the "degradation" increased at an unexpected rate.

Engineers even believed cars might derail if they were not removed from the tracks.

MARTA officials who agreed to assume the service from the city in 2018 have started shipping parts all the way to California so the company can make the fixes.

Executive George Wright was asked why the problems had not been found earlier so repairs could be phased in instead of removing all the cars at one time. 

Wright said decisions had to be made quickly when all the problems were fully known.

So, how soon could Streetcar service be restored? Leaders say possibly as early as March.

Meanwhile, MARTA plans to use its buses in the same colors as the streetcar to provide temporary service on the routes.