FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2021
MARTA RECEIVES SUPPORT
FROM CLAYTON COUNTY COMMISSION TO ADVANCE SOUTHLAKE BUS RAPID TRANSIT
ATLANTA – The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) received support from the Clayton County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday evening to advance the Southlake Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. The MARTA Board of Directors Planning and Capital Programs Committee will be asked to move on a
Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for Southlake at its meeting on Nov. 18, with the full board voting on Dec. 2. The original LPA includes both the Southlake BRT and the Commuter Rail projects and separating them allows Southlake to advance while MARTA considers alternatives for the Commuter Rail
in light of the separate track that Norfolk Southern would require.
MARTA intends to notify the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) of the Southlake BRT’s entry into the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) “Small Starts” program by the end of the year. The CIG program is competitive, and timely entry into the pipeline is critical to success. The
Southlake BRT project will be one of the first of several projects in the near term for MARTA since 1994 to seek FTA CIG funding.
The estimated $300 million BRT project will provide high-capacity transit service connecting the College Park MARTA Station to several key destinations in Clayton County including Airport Gateway, Shops of Riverdale, Southern Regional Medical Center
campus, Mount Zion commercial corridor, and the Southlake Mall. Features of the BRT system will be similar to those found in rail investments including dedicated transit lanes, more frequent service, BRT-focused stations, and transit-oriented development opportunities.
“This is much more than an operating bus route; it is a major, permanent infrastructure investment in Clayton County,” said MARTA Chief of Capital Programs, Expansion & Innovation Manjeet Ranu. “We appreciate the support of the commissioners, and MARTA is committed to delivering a best-in-class BRT
project for Clayton by 2026.”
Based on a preliminary funding plan, MARTA would likely issue bonds against the one percent MARTA sales tax in Clayton to support delivery of this project. MARTA expects the FTA Small Starts program to provide the bulk of federal support, targeting $100 million in the form of a Small Starts Grant Agreement.