The Buckhead Area Transportation Management Association, in conjunction with Georgia Power, announced the implementation of a free electric shuttle anticipated to begin first quarter of 2001 to service the Buckhead business, entertainment and shopping district. These free electric shuttles will facilitate the use of MARTA by connecting rail stations to area office towers, restaurants and stores. It will also allow employees, residents and visitors an accessible and clean alternative mode of transportation around the Buckhead area.
The shuttle system will run frequently, seven- to eight-minute intervals, Monday Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and during the evenings from 7 11 p.m. Monday Thursday and 7 p.m. 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Service expansion of the shuttle system throughout the Buckhead community will take place as demand and revenue permit.
Through the partnership with Georgia Power and the commitment from other Buckhead associations, MARTA, and the city of Atlanta, we can help ease traffic congestion and reduce the amount of emissions into the air by offering a free electric shuttle system to the Buckhead community, said Doug Crawford, Atlanta developer and past chairman of BATMA.
Georgia Power is committed to improving the air quality in metro Atlanta and by partnering with BATMA we are able to meet this commitment and establish a no-pollute emission-free shuttle system in the Buckhead community, said Mike Anderson, manager of electric transportation for Georgia Power.
Primary funding for the Buckhead electric shuttle program is largely from federal transportation dollars, business sponsorships and a commitment by the Buckhead Community Improvement District of approximately $1.4 million dollars for three years.
The operation of a clean fuel shuttle system is an important part of our strategy to enhance mobility and improve the air quality in Buckheads central commercial district, said David Allman, chairman of the Buckhead Community Improvement District.
Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell supports the electric shuttle system and states it is a key element in making Buckhead an alternative fuel-friendly community and showcase for other Southeastern cities to follow.
The Buckhead shuttle could serve as a model for other congested areas, said Catherine Ross, executive director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.
"We already have MARTA stations at Perimeter Center, Midtown, downtown and the airport," said Ross. "A shuttle system like this encourages more people to ride the train by letting them avoid the stress of traffic and parking."
GRTA will soon begin studying the feasibility of shuttles in the Perimeter and Cumberland Mall areas. The partnership between Buckhead businesses and Georgia Power is a good example of how other systems might be implemented, Ross said.
A public meeting will be held on May 2 to discuss in more detail the operations of the Buckhead electric shuttle system. An electric shuttle will be on display at the meeting.
The Buckhead Area Transportation Management Association is a pro-active partnership of private businesses, public agencies and residential and civic associations within the Buckhead community. BATMA is one of five transportation management associations in the Atlanta region fostering public-private partnerships to develop solutions for activity centers facing unique transportation challenges. Since its inception in 1997, BATMA`s mission has been to work cooperatively to improve mobility, accessibility and air quality in the Buckhead community. BATMA offers a variety of transportation services that provide relief for commuters, residents and visitors traveling in and around Buckhead. For more information access: www.batma.org.