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No Atlanta Streetcar Service For Football Championship Visitors

The city of Atlanta announced late Friday that it would be suspending streetcar service starting Monday afternoon, hours before the game.
The city of Atlanta announced late Friday that it would be suspending streetcar service starting Monday afternoon, hours before the game.
Credit Brenna Beech / WABE

Police officials expect more than 100,000 people in town for the College Football Playoff National Championship game Monday, and they’ll have to get around without the Atlanta Streetcar.

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The city announced late Friday that it will suspend streetcar service Monday beginning in the afternoon, hours before the game.

It’s a good time to promote a city’s image and its amenities, like a streetcar, according to Jeff Brown, a transportation expert at Florida State University.

“This does sound exactly like the kind of event that you’d want lots of people in the downtown area. You’d have almost a kind of a festive atmosphere, and the streetcar is part of that,” Brown said.

Organizers of the College Football Playoff National Championship had been promoting the streetcar on an official website as a way for visitors to get around downtown Atlanta. (College Football Playoff National Championship website)

He’s studied streetcars in a number of cities and found that along with encouraging economic development, bolstering the iconic image of a city is often highlighted by streetcar proponents.

“Atlanta’s hoping a lot of these people come back for other reasons after this game. They really want to showcase their city. Well, I mean if you’re proud of your streetcar don’t you want to showcase that, too, since you’re positioning it as an important part of your downtown?” Brown asked.

The mayor’s office told WABE the shutdown is a security precaution.

“APD has established secure zones around Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Centennial Olympic Park, which overlaps with the Streetcar route. Ensuring the safety of the public and security for this event are the top priorities,” said city press secretary Jenna Garland, in an email.

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields has said she expects President Donald Trump’s arrival route to affect already heavy traffic as well.

This weekend was also when the game’s host committee found out, according to spokesperson Erin Shearer. Game organizers had been promoting the streetcar on an official website as a way for visitors to get around downtown.