MARTA committee recommends Bus Rapid Transit, not light rail, along Campbellton Corridor
ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - MARTA is on the brink of expanding bus-rapid-transit, and not light rail, into the Campbellton Corridor.
The 6-mile center-running BRT project passed through MARTA’s Planning and Capital Programs committee on Wednesday. It is expected to go before the full board July 14.
“Bus rapid transit does provide similar if not almost the same type of experience as light rail, but at a lower cost and a faster implementation compared to light rail,” said Marcus Arnold, MARTA project manager.
According to MARTA, the trip-time along this route is 18 minutes using BRT. That’s two minutes slower than light rail projections. However, that’s ten minutes faster than the current bus Route 83 trip time.
Community members and local lawmakers have been critical of MARTA’s preference of BRT over light-rail.
In February, former Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tweeted,
“Promises made should be promises kept. I pushed for this [light rail] as a Councilmember and again solidified it as Mayor. To now take it away is an insult to SW Atlanta”.
A MARTA official said the investment amount, $300 million, hasn’t changed through the course of the transportation system’s evaluation system.
The project, paid through a sales tax referendum, will also cover the cost of sidewalk improvements in the area.
As part of a near 3-year review process, 45% of community members surveyed preferred BRT along this route, while 43% said they preferred light-rail.
In terms of forecasted daily riders, MARTA projected 8,800 daily riders using BRT and 9,200 daily riders using light-rail.
MARTA expects the Campbellton Corridor BRT service to start in 2028.
The city’s first BRT route, in the neighborhood, is expected to begin running in 2025.
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