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Atlanta’s 13-county ATL board moves toward adopting sweeping regional transit plan

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Agency officials have grown the list by more than 100 projects and could soon appeal for state funding

Two MARTA buses passing each other.
If the plan is carried out, expect improved and expanded bus services and potentially much more.
James Willamor

Next month, the 13-county regional transit agency known as “The ATL” could approve a broad wishlist for more than $27 billion in transit investments.

Finalizing the regional transit plan, currently worth an estimated $27.4 billion, is crucial for securing state funding help, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The working project list now includes nearly 200 goals—notable growth since a 76-project list was unveiled in September—that could better connect the many transit networks scattered about metro Atlanta.

Some of the proposed projects are transit behemoths, such as the potentially $1.9 billion Clifton Corridor, which would ultimately become a new transit line connecting MARTA’s Lindbergh station to Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Others, though, are small potatoes. Such as the $45,000 tentatively earmarked for staff vehicles for Douglas County’s new transit system, per the AJC.

In September, when the project list was far smaller, ATL officials organized proposed transit projects into categories to help inform how the regional plan could be prioritized.

A few other anticipated elements of the potentially monumental transit expansion include light-rail transit along the whole 22-mile Beltline loop, a commuter rail line from MARTA’s East Point station to Jonesboro and Lovejoy in Clayton County, and bus rapid transit (BRT) routes in Fulton, DeKalb, and Gwinnett counties.

Earlier plans also called for MARTA’s Gold Line to stretch all the way up to Norcross, too.

The ATL’s website offers a spreadsheet breaking down the costs of each project and which local agency would sponsor them.