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MARTA eyes major eastern extension of Blue Line to Stonecrest

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With federal backing, the move could add five stations, drawing train service farther OTP than ever before.

A Blue Line train heads out of downtown. If MARTA has its way, the train could head all the way to Stonecrest.
A Blue Line train heads out of downtown. If MARTA has its way, the line could stretch all the way to Stonecrest.
Curbed Atlanta

MARTA is hoping to score federal funding for the extension of the Blue Line eastward from Indian Creek Station to Stonecrest.

According to a report by WABE, the transit agency is compiling information on the expansion to submit to the Federal Transit Administration by the spring.

The extension would be part of a larger effort to bolster transit service along the Interstate 20 corridor. A preliminary map indicates five new stations would be added along the 13-mile route, stretching south from the existing terminus down Interstate 285 before heading OTP along Interstate 20.

New stations would serve Covington Highway at I-285, Wesley Chapel, Panola Road, Lithonia Industrial Boulevard, and the Mall at Stonecrest.

Meanwhile, a mega-project concept to bring a “Sports City” to Stonecrest could provide some incentive for the transit development. However, according to a study for the rail service, the new line would boost ridership only by about 6,400 people per day, while costing nearly $2 billion.

MARTA hopes to cover half of construction costs with federal cash. It’s unclear if the project is likely to receive backing from Washington, or if it would move forward even without the financial support.