By the end of 1949, there was a call to increase safety on Atlanta’s streets. The month before, author Margaret Mitchell was fatally struck by a taxi driver, and five people had been killed from trolley drivers that year alone.
When officials passed an ordinance requiring all cab and trolley drivers apply for a permit with a fingerprint, Amalgamated Transit Union’s president Jesse Walton fought back on behalf of drivers’ rights. Eventually he called for a strike, which lasted for six months.
By the time the workers finally relented, Atlanta Transit Company had taken over operations from Georgia Power Company.