MARTA has used the comments received during the Scoping period to finalize the project’s Purpose and Need, refine the proposed alternatives, and identify environmental topic areas to be analyzed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). MARTA is in the early stages of preparing the DEIS and will continue to provide updates on the study as it progresses.
GA 400 Corridor Details
MARTA is undertaking the Georgia 400 Corridor Transit Initiative to identify potential and feasible transit alternatives in the Georgia State Route 400 (GA 400) corridor. The GA 400 corridor is the transportation spine of northern Fulton County and one of the fastest growing sub-regions in the metropolitan Atlanta region. The study corridor extends approximately 12 miles from the existing North Springs MARTA Station northward to Windward Parkway in Alpharetta near the Fulton/Forsyth county line.
In 2011 MARTA initiated an Alternatives Analysis (AA), and in the late summer and fall of 2013, MARTA conducted Early Scoping activities to formally capture public and stakeholder feedback regarding transit in the corridor. During the AA evaluation and the public and stakeholder engagement, the GA 400 right-of-way (ROW) from the existing North Springs heavy rail station to Windward Parkway emerged as the preferred alignment. At the conclusion of the AA in late 2013, the transit technologies to be evaluated further were identified as heavy rail transit (HRT), light rail transit (LRT), and bus rapid transit (BRT).
MARTA added a second phase of Early Scoping in 2014 in response to the public and stakeholders’ desire for broader outreach in the study area and more opportunities to provide feedback on which alternatives should be carried into the next phase of the project. See the Early Scoping Report. In addition, MARTA sponsored a statistically valid public opinion survey of employees and residents along the corridor, and held additional meetings with the public and local officials.
Following the conclusion of the second phase of Early Scoping in August 2014, MARTA conducted additional planning and engagement activities to inform the recommendation of a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for further study in an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS). On March 5, 2015, the MARTA Board of Directors adopted the HRT alternative as the LPA for the GA 400 corridor, along with consideration of additional BRT alternatives
Three Build Alternatives will be evaluated in the DEIS – one HRT alternative and two BRT alternatives:
- The HRT alternative operates in an exclusive guideway on either side of the GA 400 ROW. The alignment starts at the North Springs Station on the east side of GA 400, crosses to the west side south of Spalding Drive, then crosses back to the east side of GA 400 north of the Chattahoochee River, where it runs to Windward Parkway. The location of the crossover north of the Chattahoochee River will be determined during the DEIS process.
- A BRT alternative in fixed guideway uses the same alignment as the HRT alternative.
- Another BRT alternative operates within future Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) managed lanes along GA 400 and shares the ROW with other vehicles.
An updated timeline of the DEIS process will be provided at a later date