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MARTA's Expansion Plans are Materializing Right Now

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At long last, MARTA has unveiled the expansion plans for Clayton County services through 2025. According to the Saporta Report, three bus lines will begin servicing the county on March 21, with a planned phase-in of seven more lines before December. The new routes will bring public transit back to the county for the first time since C-Tran ceased operations in 2010. Service routes were devised to meet the greatest needs through a collaborative effort between citizens and the transit agency. However, in the long run, it's not all rubber and roads that MARTA is hoping for.

[Images: MARTA]

While step one is for buses to hit the pavement, MARTA has bigger plans to connect the south side to the city. By 2022, MARTA's vision is to connect the East Point rail station to Jonesboro via "high-capacity transit," with plans to continue south to a terminus at Lovejoy. Whether the intention is rail or bus-rapid-transit remains unclear, but the southward expansion could signify a major step forward in providing transit services from the outer suburbs into the heart of the city. Proposed stops include Hapeville, Mountain View, Forest Park, Fort Gillem, Clayton State, Morrow and the Clayton County Justice Center, before terminating at Lovejoy.

The projects will be supported by an estimated $46 million in annual funding from Clayton taxpayers. Expansion into Clayton, following last year's landmark vote, marks the biggest change in MARTA's operations since service began in 1971.

· MARTA helping bring excitement to Atlanta region's south side [Saporta Report]