MARTA's plans for Atlanta include 21 miles of light rail and 18 miles of bus rapid transit lines.

MARTA’s expansion plans for Atlanta: A detailed look

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week, MARTA and Atlanta have recommended construction of 21 miles of light rail and 18 miles of bus rapid transit lines and other transit improvements for the city. 

These are the projects recommended for the “More MARTA” half-penny sales tax Atlanta voters approved in 2016. MARTA offered voters a menu of possible projects before the vote. But only now is it finalizing its plans for the $2.5 billion in sales tax proceeds expected over 40 years. 

Atlanta Beltline supporters aren’t happy – the list includes only a third of the proposed Beltline Loop light rail line – but supporters of the proposed Clifton Corridor light rail line to the Emory/CDC area are celebrating. 

MARTA and Atlanta employees evaluated dozens of potential projects before settling on the proposed list. MARTA plans to solicit public feedback before approving a final list in September. 

Here’s a detailed look at what made the recommended list. We’ve included a project description from MARTA for each project, as well as its share of the sales tax proceeds. The figure is just the local share of the construction, operating and maintenance cost for each project, not the total cost. MARTA expects the federal government is to pay half the construction cost. 

Light rail 

*Campbellton Line: Five miles of light rail service along Campbellton Road between Oakland City Station and Greenbriar Mall. An arterial rapid transit line has been established. It will be upgraded to bus rapid transit and then to light rail in the long run. $263.7 million (light rail only). 

*Clifton Corridor: Four miles of grade-separated light rail service from Lindbergh Station to a new station near Emory. $503.6 million. 

*Beltline Loop – Northeast: Three miles of light rail service from Ponce City Market to Lindbergh Station along Atlanta Beltline. $174 million. 

*Beltline Loop – Southwest: Four miles of light rail service along Atlanta Beltline from roughly I-20 to Oakland City Station. $196.2 million. 

*Crosstown Downtown West Extension: Three miles of light rail service from the Atlanta Streetcar to the Atlanta Beltline – Southwest. $171.6 million. 

*Crosstown Downtown East Extension: Two miles of light rail service from the Atlanta Streetcar to Ponce City Market along Atlanta Beltline – Northeast. $189.8 million. 

*Atlanta Streetcar operations: MARTA will begin operating the streetcar on July 1. $100 million. 

Bus rapid transit 

*Campbellton Line: Five miles of in-street bus rapid transit service along Campbellton Road between Oakland City Station and Greenbriar Mall. The line began as arterial rapid transit, but will be upgraded to BRT and later to light rail. $130 million (bus rapid transit only). 

*Capitol Avenue Line: Three miles of in-street bus rapid transit service along Capitol Avenue/Hank Aaron Drive/Luckie Street from Atlanta Beltline - Southeast to North Avenue. $98.5 million. 

*North Avenue Line: Four miles of in-street bus rapid transit service along D.L. Hollowell Parkway/North Avenue from Bankhead Station to Atlanta Beltline – Northeast. $119.5 million. 

*Northside-Metropolitan Line: Six miles of bus rapid transit from the Atlanta Metropolitan State College (south of I-20) to a new regional bus system transfer point at I-75 north. $94.3 million. 

Arterial rapid transit 

*Route 510 - Peachtree Buckhead: Arterial rapid transit service from Brookhaven Station to Arts Center Station to serve denser residential development in northeastern Buckhead. $21.7 million. 

* Route 578 - Cleveland Avenue: Arterial rapid transit service from West End Station to Cleveland Avenue. $37.5 million. 

*Route 583 - Campbellton Line: Arterial rapid transit along Campbellton Road from Greenbriar Mall to Oakland City Station. Mostly finished. Will be upgraded to bus rapid transit and, eventually, to light rail. $27.6 million (ART only). 

*Route 595 - Metropolitan Parkway: Arterial rapid transit from West End Station along Metropolitan Parkway. $31.6 million. 

Other transit improvements 

*Bus service improvements: Bus frequency, span of service, and community circulator improvements across routes primarily within the City of Atlanta. Most of these improvements have already been made. $210 million. 

*Greenbriar Transit Center: Park and ride transit hub for local or enhanced bus service at Greenbriar Mall along Greenbriar Parkway. $5 million. 

*Moores Mill Transit Center: Park and ride transit hub for local or enhanced bus service at Bolton Road and Marietta Boulevard. $2 million. 

*Station enhancements: Access, wayfinding, operational, aesthetic improvements across stations within the City of Atlanta. $125 million. 

*General amenities: Bus stop amenities, including shelters, seating, and digital information at many bus stops within the City of Atlanta.

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