A MARTA train. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Last week the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) board of directors approved a two-fold locally preferred alternative (LPA) for the Clayton County Transit Initiative. The approval demonstrates to the federal government that MARTA has identified a specific set of projects to move forward.
The first recommendation is to begin environmental study on a commuter rail on the 22-mile Norfolk Southern corridor from the East Point MARTA Station to Lovejoy, according to MARTA materials. The second is for environmental study on the implementation of bus rapid transit to connect College Park, Riverdale and Morrow.
The railway’s construction could launch as early as 2023 and wrap up by 2027, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Both routes connect communities with schools, hospitals and job opportunities, according to MARTA – particularly areas of expected employment and population growth in Clayton County.
“Since first expanding to Clayton County three years ago, MARTA service has changed the lives of thousands of residents,” former State Rep. Roberta Abdul-Salaam who now serves as secretary of the MARTA board of directors, said in a statement. “This continued expansion shows a strong commitment to community and economic development for one of metro Atlanta’s fastest growing areas.”