The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the city of Atlanta $12.6 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to build the state’s first Bus Rapid Transit route.
“The $12.6 million grant will help fund a $48.6 million, 9.4-mile route of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) from the historic Summerhill neighborhood South of I-20 to the MARTA Arts Center Station in Midtown Atlanta,” a press release from the city says.
The city says the Summerhill bus transit route will connect the Summerhill neighborhood, anchored by the Georgia State University MARTA station, and the Atlanta streetcar network.
“The route will include stations and vehicles linking Midtown, Piedmont Park, Downtown, existing MARTA stations, and the new Summerhill mixed-use development,” the press release says. “The Summerhill development—expected to take several years to fully build out—represents a potentially $1 billion investment in South Atlanta.”
This marks the first use of Bus Rapid Transit in the state of Georgia, the city says.
“BRT is a high-capacity transit system that utilizes existing roadways and dedicated lanes to quickly transport passengers throughout a city or region via bus,” the press release says. “BRT lines are connected to local traffic grids so they trip lights, stop less frequently than traditional buses, and have pre-pay ticketing systems.”
MARTA will also purchase five new rapid transit bus vehicles.