Less than only a month of operations, the Atlanta streetcar is in court defending themselves in a $8 million dollar lawsuit by ATT Georgia.
Filed in Fulton County courts last month, the lawsuit argues that ATT was forced to relocate utilities to make way for the new streetcar system. ATT is claiming that they spent $5.8 million dollars in relocating equipment, cables, wires and conduits. ATT is expecting to have to spend more as the Atlanta Streetcar makes future plans to expand.
The city and MARTA refuses to reimburse the telecommunications company because they believe that they have the right to the “inherent authority” to force ATT to move their equipment. It also appears that both entities have rejected ATT’s reference to a state law that requires them to reimburse the telecommunications company for utility related expenses for MARTA expansions.
Lance Skelly, the Communications Director for ATT told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “after multiple attempts over more than two years to resolve the issue of reimbursement for expenses to relocate our network facilities to accommodate the Atlanta Streetcar project, we have been unable to reach an agreement and now seek assistance from the court.”
Though the city of Atlanta owns the streetcar, MARTA manages the operations of it. The spokeswoman for Mayor Kasim Reed’s office, Anne Torres, released the following statement:
“The city has consistently maintained for over two years that AT&T is not entitled to any reimbursement from the city. The city will vigorously defend this position and remains confident that it will prevail in a court of law.”