Mayor Kasim Reed Fires Back On Atlanta Streetcar Issues

Mayor Kasim Reed says the Atlanta Streetcar is a work in progress, but it will be a permanent transportation feature of the city.

He was responding to an ultimatum from the Georgia Department of Transportation to come up with a plan to address the streetcar’s many issues by mid-June.

If the city and MARTA fail to meet the State Safety Oversight requirements, GDOT says it will order the streetcar shut down immediately. Friday, Mayor Reed said he’s reasonably confident the city will respond adequately by deadline.

“In my opinion the consultant for the Atlanta Streetcar, who is not a state employee – she’s a private sector consultant – is using this opportunity for her personal gain,” said Reed.

“I actually think it’s in her interest to continue to find things that are wrong with a system that operates reasonably well.”

Mignon Allen is the president of that firm, Dovetail Consulting.

“I’m an agent under contract to the state,” Allen told WABE, but declined to comment further.

GDOT’s letter outlined failures to address 60 outstanding problems in the areas of organization, maintenance and safety.

“To date, the Atlanta Streetcar has not implemented a comprehensive and acceptable maintenance organizational structure and corresponding maintenance plans and procedures to address this issue raised nearly 18 months ago,” GDOT’s letter read.

Reed said despite his suspicions about the motivations behind the concerns over Atlanta Streetcar, the city’s behavior and commitment to address every issue will not change.

“I do believe that the sheer volume of issues that are constantly being raised absorb an enormous amount of time from our leadership team,” said Reed.