Atlanta gets $12M for extra bus lanes - CBS46 News

Atlanta gets $12M for extra bus lanes

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

The MARTA line is without question the most effective way to move people through the Atlanta metro area but it can cost $5,000 an inch to build a new rail line here. That's why city planners are looking for alternatives like the BRT or bus rapid transit.

"Some people call them bendy buses other people call them trains on rubber tires. The idea is to give you a rail like transit service without the heavy upfront capital cost."

In fact, that's exactly why MARTA officials and local leaders put together a transportation master plan for state lawmakers. They want a new transit tax to help pay for billions of dollars in new specialty bus lines like the BRT.

"The study simply identifies where at various funding levels we could place bus service and bus rapid transit and the next step would be to move forward with some level of local sales tax referendum and possible partnership with the state to help with the capital construction costs of a BRT system."

A massive redevelopment is underway for Georgia state in the Summerhill Community of Atlanta that will bring thousands of people to the area just this week. The city announced a $12 million "TIGER" grant for a new BRT line here that will help connect them to jobs and retail in midtown.

"There is a lot of discussion around these BRT systems and I am very intrigued by and I am really open to whatever will be most effective and efficient to the City of Atlanta." 

Critics of the Atlanta streetcar say it's too expensive and wasn't worth the bang for the buck with the BRT is a less expensive alternative. The question now is will the streetcar system be expanded.

"I don't know if it will be the streetcar long-term or if it will be these BRT systems but I think at the end of the day what we are all interested in relief from traffic and to have some viable options in the city of Atlanta."

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