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Thought Leadership Transit

MARTA Board Advances Bus Rapid Transit In Campbellton Community Investment Corridor

The MARTA Board of Directors has voted to advance center-running bus rapid transit (BRT) as the locally preferred alternative (LPA) for Campbellton Road, as part of an overall $300 million dollar transit and infrastructure investment in southwest Atlanta.

“This will be a gold standard BRT system, complete with stations, platform-level entry at both doors, and dedicated lanes, very much like a rail system, but at a lower cost and with a faster construction completion time,” said MARTA Interim General Manager and CEO Collie Greenwood. “Center-running BRT also allows us to invest more money in the corridor with pedestrian and cycling amenities and infrastructure features that benefit the entire community.”

The BRT will travel for six miles down Campbellton Road, connecting key destinations such as Oakland City Station, the new Greenbriar transit hub, and the Barge Road park-and-ride, with nine planned stations along the route. Center-running BRT is as it sounds, a rapid high-capacity transit system that operates in dedicated lanes down the center of the road and will reduce the transit travel time along Campbellton Road to 18 minutes, 35 percent faster than the current Route 83. Other proposed BRT amenities include off board fare payment similar to the train, level boarding platforms, electric BRT vehicles, and transit signal priority to improve travel times and reliability.

Campbellton Road rapid transit was adopted as part of the More MARTA Atlanta Program in 2018. Since the fall of 2019, MARTA has conducted an in-depth analysis of the corridor and outreach to the community. The exhaustive community and stakeholder engagement included in-person, virtual, town hall, and roundtable-style meetings, open houses, neighborhood and systemwide canvassing and surveys, informational visits to community and senior centers, libraries, and schools, and a bus tour of the proposed route. Close to half of those surveyed preferred BRT, with 90 percent of respondents mentioning the need for infrastructure improvements and better access for cyclists and pedestrians along the corridor.

“We did hear from some who see BRT as an inferior investment and are concerned that transit-oriented development won’t be as robust. That is simply not true. BRT is a premium transit service that can be delivered faster, for less money, operate more affordably, and is much more flexible than fixed rail transit, making it the clear choice for this corridor and the best use of taxpayer money,” said MARTA Board Chair Rita Scott. “And I’m confident as this project comes to fruition, the people who live and work in this corridor will agree.”

The project will be paid for through the More MARTA Atlanta half-penny sales tax, but additional federal funding is critical in filling in the gaps. The immediate next step is to seek entry into project development through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)’s Small Starts Discretionary Grant Program. The City of Atlanta is supportive of the project and recently submitted a Mega Grant (National Infrastructure Project Assistance Program) for center-running BRT.

Additional next steps to advance the project include submitting a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) checklist to the FTA, initiating preliminary engineering studies, and starting planning activities for the Greenbriar transit hub. The goal is to begin operating center-running BRT on Campbellton Road in 2028.

 

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1 Comment

  1. Kevin July 27, 2022 4:46 pm

    Marta is full of it!Report

    Reply

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