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Latest, greatest MARTA dream map could actually happen

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Part of semi-realistic MARTA vision. Image by Jason Lathbury.

MARTA's been having a pretty good year, running high on the success it was experiencing at the close of 2014.

With Clayton County joining the system, growth along the Gold Line plowing ahead, Red Line expansion plans in the works and even its own song, there's reason to believe the historically maligned system is posed for more growth. (All that, despite Johns Creek's recent anti-MARTA resolution and Mark Toro's claims of racism stifling development — the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.)

In honor of the system's progress, Jason Lathbury, a guy who apparently really likes making pro-grade MARTA maps, has sent us an update to his more fanciful MARTA map, highlighting seven potential projects and their impact on the system. And this time, Lathbury's eye-candy for mass-transit-ophiles is a bit more realistic.

[The full-sized map. Image by Jason Lathbury.]

While it's pretty optimistic to assume that all the projects are going to happen — considering that whole $8+ billion price tag — the map is at least slightly more plausible than the first iteration Lathbury whipped up this summer.

Let's ignore the fact that it seems unlikely the state will pony up a significant amount of money to make this happen. According to Lathbury, four of the seven new components of this dream system would be completely funded under the expansion proposal floated back in July.

Those include the Connect 400 Heavy Rail to extend the Red Line to Windward Parkway, BRT and Heavy Rail extensions on the Interstate 20 Corridor and Light Rail on the Clifton Road Corridor to service Emory and the CDC. Additionally, some funding could trickle down to streetcar service along the Beltline and an expansive network throughout the city.

The final project, Clayton's proposed Commuter Rail, would theoretically be funded by tax revenue generated by Clayton County, though pennies don't really add up that quickly.

No matter how realistic the map is, it at least offers a glimpse of what could be in store for MARTA's future, if about eight billion things go right.

· Presenting ATL's Most Comprehensive Transit Map of All Time [Curbed Atlanta]
· Could $8 Billion Vision for MARTA become Reality?