Atlanta One Step Closer to Bus Rapid Transit

The city’s transit agency says bus rapid transit will be cheaper and faster to build than light rail.

1 minute read

July 3, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


A MARTA bus in Atlanta, Georgia. | Kristain Baty / Shutterstock

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is one step closer to approving a bus rapid transit (BRT) line in southwest Atlanta, reports David Wickert in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The board’s planning committee voted to select bus rapid transit — not light rail — as the preferred alternative for the line, a move needed to pursue crucial federal funding.”

The article outlines the history of MARTA’s transit lines, which remained largely unchanged since the completion of major work in 2000. The agency released the findings of a study of the Campbellton corridor in February. “MARTA officials said the transit improvements — along with sidewalks, bike lanes and other improvements included in the project — will be a boon to southwest Atlanta.”

The article states that “MARTA found rapid buses would cost far less than light rail ($130 million versus $340 million). It also found a rapid bus line could open in 2028 (three years sooner than light rail) and would be almost as fast (18 minutes for the full 6-mile trip) as light rail (16 minutes).” BRT is also more likely to receive federal funding, according to MARTA.

The agency is also weighing a redesign of their bus system to provide more frequent service on fewer routes.

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