MARTA plans to replace rail cars with high-tech ones - CBS46 News

MARTA plans to replace rail cars with high-tech ones

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

People who ride MARTA have their list of things they see wrong with the current rail cars.

"It's messy sometimes. It smells and that's not a way to travel back and forth everyday," rider Kedanieh Myers said.

"They just need to upgrade the system a little more, just to make it better for everybody for the customers to ride safe," rider Tyler Garcia said.

Upgrading the rail cars is exactly what MARTA plans to do.

"Those subway cars were purchased over a variety of years and some of them are getting a little up in age," MARTA Board of Directors Chairman Robbie Ashe said.

Some of the fleet's 260 rail cars are nearly 30 years old, he said, requiring expensive maintenance. So over the next 10 years, MARTA wants to replace nearly all of its rail cars with new ones that have the latest technology.

"So they have Wi-Fi on them, the seating is more comfortable and they are well lit, and you can understand the announcements made over the loud speaker," Ashe said.

This process will cost in the range of $800 million to $1 billion. CBS46 asked Ashe if more tax dollars or higher fares will pay for this.

"We have enough financial strength that we will be able to replace those without a fare increase, without asking the voters for more money," Ashe said. "It will take several years to do, probably the better part of 10 years."

MARTA will bid out the project for new cars this year. Because of the selection and purchasing process, it could be three to five years before a new car is on the rails.

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