Spinning our Wheels

Spinning our Wheels is a commuting blog about the challenges of getting around Atlanta by car, bus, MARTA, bicycles and on foot written by transportation reporter David Wickert

Atlanta MARTA expansion: Projects that didn’t make the list


MARTA recently unveiled a transit expansion plan for Atlanta that includes 21 miles of light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit and other transit improvements. But the list of projects that didn’t make the cut is also extensive.

Among them: Two-thirds of the proposed Atlanta Beltline light rail network, a heavy rail extension along I-20 west and a bus rapid transit line along I-20 east. 

The proposed plan is a staff recommendation for how to spend the proceeds of the half-penny sales tax approved by Atlanta voters in 2016. Voters saw a menu of possible projects - but not a final list - before they cast their ballots. 

You can find the recommended list of projects here. The MARTA Board of Directors will approve a final project list this fall, after receiving public comment.

In the meantime, below is a list of projects the staff considered but did not recommend. The project descriptions and cost estimates are from MARTA. The cost estimates include only the local share of construction, operating and maintenance costs – the federal government is expected to pay half the tab. 

 

Heavy rail 

*I-20 West: Two miles of heavy rail service from H.E. Holmes Station to a new station at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and I-285. $223.6 million. 

*20 rail cars for Green Line expansion: Additional 20 rail cars to accommodate capacity improvements along the Green Line. No cost provided. 

*10 rail cars for Blue Line expansion: Additional 10 rail cars to accommodate capacity improvements along the Blue Line. No cost provided. 

Light rail 

*Beltline Loop - Northeast - Southeast Connector: Two miles of light rail service along the Atlanta Beltline corridor. $129.9 million. 

*Beltline Loop – Northwest: Six miles of light rail transit service along the Atlanta Beltline corridor. $307.2 million. 

*Beltline Loop – Southeast: Four miles of light rail service along the Atlanta Beltline corridor. $82.8 million. 

*Beltline Loop - Southwest - Northwest Connector: Two miles of light rail service along the Atlanta Beltline corridor. $105.5 million. 

*Capitol Avenue Line: Two miles of light rail service along Capitol Avenue/Hank Aaron Drive from Downtown Streetcar to Atlanta Beltline – Southeast. $155.7 million. This project is included as a bus rapid transit line in the staff recommendation. 

*Crosstown Midtown - Luckie St Line: One mile of light rail transit (LRT) service along Northside Drive/Luckie Street from Downtown Streetcar to North Avenue. $90.2 million. 

*Crosstown Crescent Line: Six miles of light rail service along Joseph E Lowery Blvd./Ralph D Abernathy Blvd./Georgia Avenue between the Southeast and West Atlanta Beltline corridors. $398.8 million. 

*Crosstown Midtown - North Ave Line: Four miles of light rail service along D.L. Hollowell Pkwy/North Avenue from Bankhead Station to Atlanta Beltline – Northeast. $265.3 million. This project is included as a bus rapid transit line in the staff recommendation. 

*Peachtree Street/Lee St Line: Four miles of light rail service along Peachtree Street/West Peachtree Street/Peters Street/Lee Street corridor between Downtown Streetcar and Oakland City Station. $155.8 million. 

Bus rapid transit 

*I-20 East: Four miles of bus rapid transit service from Five Points to Moreland Avenue with two new stops and one new station. $60 million. 

Arterial rapid transit 

*Route 571 - Cascade Road: Arterial rapid transit service from West End Station to Fulton Industrial Blvd. $54.7 million. 

Other transit improvements 

*Armour station: Infill station at Beltline near MARTA’s Armour Yard facility between Arts Center and Lindbergh stations. $110.6 million. 

*Boone station: Infill station at Beltline and Boone Blvd. between Ashby and Bankhead stations. $51.1 million. 

*Hulsey/Krog station: Infill station at Beltline and Hulsey/Krog Street between King Memorial and Inman Park/Reynoldstown stations. $111.9 million. 

*Mechanicsville station: Infill station at McDaniel Street on the Red. Line between Garnett and West End stations. $64.1 million. 

*Murphy Crossing station: Infill station at Beltline near Murphy Crossing between West End and Oakland City stations. $111.9 million.


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About the Author

David Wickert writes about transportation issues for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He previously worked for newspapers in Washington state, Illinois, Virginia and Tennessee.