More MARTA needs to move more quickly
At BeltLine Rail Now, the “Now” part is as important as “Rail.” That’s why we’re disappointed that MARTA doesn't plan to build light rail on the full loop until the 2040s. We had high hopes after MARTA’s board voted to include most of the BeltLine on its project list last year, but this plan careens down the wrong track.
It extends the Atlanta Streetcar onto a small corridor that puts more priority on tourists instead of transit-dependent residents.
It misses an opportunity to connect MARTA rail to the BeltLine and neighborhoods north, south and west now that CSX has closed Hulsey Yard, its railyard in Inman Park.
Meanwhile, the BeltLine's mostly shovel-ready right-of-way, which connects some of our most transit-dependent neighborhoods, would sit untouched for more than a decade.
In short, this plan is more of the same thing BeltLine Rail Now formed to fight last year -- a grab bag of pet projects that’s not geared toward the urgent and growing needs of Atlanta commuters, who started paying for More MARTA two years ago.
As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution put it recently, "A world-class city shouldn’t take decades to build new transit lines." We have mobility problems that need fixing ASAP, and they’re only going to get worse as development flocks to the BeltLine corridor. And that corridor, with its dedicated right-of-way running outside of traffic, can be built out at a far lower cost per mile than other proposed projects.
We urge MARTA to take another look at the list and maximize transit that serves more Atlantans by 2030.
Come join us at MARTA’s June 13 board meeting to help deliver that message. The meeting is at 1:30 p.m. at MARTA Headquarters, 2424 Piedmont Road NE.
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