Mar 26, 2024 - Politics

Dickens proposes new MARTA rail stations and southside grocery store

Mayor Andre Dickens makes a heart sign in front of a large city seal while giving a speech

Mayor Andre Dickens speaks during the 2024 State of the City address at the Woodruff Arts Center. Credit: Courtesy of the City of Atlanta/Mayor's Office of Communications

Mayor Andre Dickens wants to build new MARTA rail stations and a southside grocery store to "close the tale of two cities" in Atlanta.

Why it matters: If you want to build an equitable Atlanta, Atlantans need reliable transportation and food security.

Driving the news: Dickens told the audience at Monday's State of the City address that the proposed "infill station" at Murphy Crossing, a planned mixed-use district in Oakland City, would be MARTA's first direct connection to the Beltline.

  • The stop would also be the heavy rail system's first new station since 2000 when MARTA opened North Springs.

What they're saying: "Our current MARTA system is underutilized in part because we don't have enough stations located where residents need them the most," Dickens said.

  • "A better, more accessible rail station system is key to Atlanta's future, and I am committed to ensuring that Atlanta residents have access to quality transportation that they deserve."

Zoom in: City officials studied a $407.6 million package of infill stations at Krog Street, Boone, Armour Yard, Mechanicsville and Murphy Crossing when drafting the More MARTA project list in 2017.

  • More locations and details will be announced in the coming days, Dickens spokesperson Michael Smith told Axios.

Meanwhile: Dickens also announced plans to open a grocery store selling fresh food and produce south of the city. A large percentage of people in those census tracts live on low incomes and have low access to a grocery store, according to the USDA.

  • City spokesperson Michael Smith told Axios that Dickens has asked the city's chief policy officer to work with Invest Atlanta to "explore options" and details about a specific location will be released later.

What's next: Dickens said the public safety training center will be finished by the end of 2024, and the city will launch additional shipping container villages like South Downtown's Melody to provide semi-permanent housing.

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