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Home > About Marta > Planning & Projects > Expansion Projects > Beltline Corridor


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Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a Tier 1 EIS?

A Tier 1 EIS is an environmental document that identifies what the existing conditions of the study area are and evaluates potential effects of the proposed project on those conditions.  A Tier 1 EIS addresses broad, overall corridor issues such as general location, mode choice and land use impacts.  This approach allows project sponsors to make corridor-level decisions without incurring the time and expense of design that would be required in a more detailed EIS.  


When will the EIS be complete?

The Tier 1 Final EIS will be complete in the spring of 2010.


Will construction begin after the Tier 1 EIS is complete?

Not necessarily.  The Tier 1 EIS advances the planning to the point where policy-makers can confirm previous decisions and preserve the right-of-way for transit and trails.  When the Tier 1 EIS is complete, right-of-way may be purchased as funds become available.  The next step in the project development process is the completion of a Tier 2 analysis.  Design and construction can begin following completion of the Tier 2 analysis if funding is available.  Efforts to acquire funding for construction of transit and trails are on-going.


In the 2006 Alternative Analysis Study, MARTA concluded that a rail technology will best meet the needs in the Beltline Corridor but did not specify what type of rail.  When will this be decided?

In the Alternative Analysis Study, MARTA narrowed the transit technology choices to streetcar and light rail.  The preferred technology will be determined in the EIS Study.


What is the difference between streetcar and light rail?

Both light rail and streetcars receive their power from an overhead source called a catenary, thus making it possible and safe for both to operate on streets in mixed traffic. Streetcars tend to be low volume systems that typically operate in mixed traffic while light rail tends to be a higher volume system that can operate in mixed traffic or in an exclusive right-of-way. In the United States, streetcars typically operate as a single or two-car train, travel at low speeds (average 5-15 mph) and make frequent stops. Light rail typically operates larger vehicles in two-or more car trains, and travels at higher speeds (average 10-25 mph).

Why should I get involved in the Environmental Study?

From the beginning, the Beltline has been a citizen-driven concept…citizens preferring in-town living, alternatives to driving the private auto and desiring greater connectivity between neighborhoods as well as between residential and other land-uses.  Your continued involvement will help to ensure that the project remains true to the original goals.


Former Questions Asked 

What is a Scoping Meeting?

The Scoping process is an early and open process for determining the range of issues to be addressed and for identifying significant issues related to the proposed project.  The process involves meeting with interested parties, to include agencies, the public and stakeholders within the study area.  The meetings are used to provide background information on the project; to discuss the purpose and need for the project; to present the alternatives that are being considered; to discuss the evaluation methodology and process; and to hear public comments about the project.


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