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

MARTA’s final Atlanta expansion plan: A detailed look


As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week, MARTA’s final expansion plan for Atlanta includes 29 miles of light rail, 13 miles of bus rapid transit lines, three arterial rapid transit routes, the renovation of existing rail stations and other improvements.

The $2.7 billion, 40-year plan was more than two years in the making. In 2016, Atlanta voters approved a half-penny sales tax for transit construction and operations. Since then, MARTA has solicited public input on how it should spend the money. The MARTA Board of Directors will consider the final project list Thursday. 

Here’s a detailed look at the final project list the board will consider: 

Light rail 

*Campbellton Line: Five miles of light rail service along Campbellton Road between Oakland City Station and Greenbriar Mall. $311.2 million. 

*Clifton Corridor: Four miles of grade-separated light rail service from Lindbergh Station to a new station near Emory. $350 million – $100 million would be contingent on finding other local financial support to complete the line. 

*Streetcar west extension: Three miles of light rail service from the downtown streetcar to Atlanta University Center/Beltline Westside Trail. $317.9 million. 

*Streetcar east extension: Two miles of light rail service from the downtown streetcar to Krog Street/Beltline Eastside Trail. $235.4 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. 

*Beltline Loop – east, southeast and west segments: Eight miles of light rail transit service on several Beltline segments (routes will require additional funding to complete). $200 million. 

*Atlanta Streetcar operations: MARTA began operating the streetcar on July 1. $37.8 million. 

Bus rapid transit 

*Crosstown Midtown 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. 

*Summerhill 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. $111 million. 

Arterial Rapid Transit 

*Route 510 - Peachtree Buckhead: Arterial rapid transit service from Brookhaven Station to Five Points 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 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. $238 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 and aesthetic improvements across stations within the City of Atlanta. $200 million. 

*General amenities: Bus stop amenities, including shelters, seating, and digital information at many bus stops within the City of Atlanta. $25 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.