Apr 11, 2024 - Transit

Mayor names MARTA station locations and cross-town bus line

Illustration of a MARTA station sign with the top three stripes extending off to the right into the distance.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Mayor Andre Dickens on Thursday announced the locations of four new MARTA rail stations and directed staffers to study a new premium bus line linking the east and west sides of Atlanta.

Why it matters: New rail stops and a bus rapid transit line crossing fast-growing Atlanta would increase access to transit — especially in areas where people are living on low incomes.

Zoom in: The mayor wants city staff and Beltline officials to start designing stations near Joseph E. Boone Boulevard, Krog Street near Hulsey Yard, Armour Yards and Murphy Crossing along the Beltline Westside Trail.

  • All four stops would bring MARTA heavy rail closer to the Beltline.
  • Dickens also wants staffers to identify funding sources to build the stops. The process would include community engagement, the order said.

Of note: Dickens is also ordering City Hall, Beltline and MARTA staffers to "begin developing a plan for transit options on the entirety of the Beltline corridor."

The big picture: The transit investment could also spark denser development surrounding the MARTA stops and along the line, which could help create a more walkable and affordable city.

Flashback: Dickens previously announced the four new stations, including the location of the Murphy Crossing station, during his State of the City address in late March.

Thursday's administrative order also calls for city transportation staff to study running bus rapid transit to connect Ponce City Market and a planned mixed-income development at the former Bowen Homes public housing complex.

  • Bus rapid transit uses fancier buses, oftentimes with better-designed stations and ideally running in their own lane of traffic to zip past congestion.

What we're watching: We asked the Dickens administration for more information about the Beltline transit plan and how that could affect ongoing talks about building rail along the project's Eastside Trail.

  • The contentious issue has divided Beltline rail advocates and developers and residents near the popular path.

State of play: MARTA is currently designing the the expansion of the downtown streetcar to the Eastside Trail.

  • Beltline officials are studying transit along 14 miles of the project.

Read Dickens' administrative order (PDF)

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