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MARTA rail could be headed to Stonecrest, by way of Interstate 20

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DeKalb County commissioners seem to favor trains over bus rapid transit

A MARTA train arriving at a crowded platform at Five Points Station.
Could MARTA be headed elsewhere OTP?
JTesFaye

Imagine being able to hop on a MARTA train and ride practically all the way to Arabia Mountain.

While that might seem like a colossal project and a far-fetched ambition, DeKalb County officials voted this week to move forward with plans to expand the transit agency’s reach to the City of Stonecrest.

In a narrow 4-1-2 vote, the DeKalb County Commission approved a resolution that supports adding a heavy or light rail component to the upcoming Transit Master Plan, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The creation and adoption of a masterplan could mean DeKalb ups sales taxes by 1 percent to help fund transit improvements and expansion.

But that wouldn't be enough to cover the cost of a new rail line running alongside Interstate 20 out to Stonecrest, according to the paper.

The approval of the resolution also signifies the commission’s interest in prioritizing rail lines over Bus Rapid Transit.

DeKalb commissioners are now working with officials from MARTA and the young regional transit agency The ATL to create the masterplan.

Residents in Stonecrest and other parts of south DeKalb have longed for rail access for years, and they’ve been paying a one-cent sales tax to support MARTA since its inception nearly 50 years ago.

Now, says the resolution’s sponsor, Commissioner Larry Johnson, it’s time for constituents to enjoy their just desserts.