This week we asked you to come out and you showed up! There is positive movement towards ARC including rail on the entire BeltLine on their list but it is not for certain due to the lack of support from Atlanta city council and MARTA. Please email your city council members and ask why they haven’t asked the ARC to include light rail transit on the whole Beltline in the Regional Transportation Plan, which would qualify it for federal matching funds. Here are the results from the ARC Transportation Coordinating Committee held a public meeting on April 5, 2019.
Every four years, the Atlanta Regional Commission puts together a long-range plan that includes the Atlanta-area “wish list” of transportation projects they want the federal government to help fund. The next ARC plan is under final discussion NOW.
The bulk of the decision-making for what projects go on this list lie with the city and MARTA, but ARC does have a strong influence on what goes in to their final list.
At the meeting, BeltLine Rail Now supporters spoke on behalf of rail on the BeltLine. The Atlanta BeltLine Inc and Mayor Bottoms had representatives at the meeting but MARTA did not.
Where we are
ARC has two project lists. One is a wish list free of financial constraints and another limited by available local funding. The second list currently only has two segments of the BeltLine with rail. A project needs to have local financial support to make the second list. The 2016 More MARTA sales tax is creates local funding for the BeltLine pushing ARC towards including rail on the entire BeltLine for their second list.
ARC aims to get the next draft of the transit plan together by July, then for comment and review for several months after that. We have some breathing space to push for more of the BeltLine to be included in the next list -- but it will also mean we'll have to stand up and defend the project against any pushback as well.
What you can do
Email your city council members (your district rep plus the three at-large members) and ask why they haven’t asked the ARC to include light rail transit on the whole Beltline in the Regional Transportation Plan. This would qualify Rail on the BeltLine for federal matching funds.