One of the three final transit options MARTA is considering for the Clifton Corridor is a bus rapid transit (BRT) route from the Buckhead’s Lindbergh station to the west to the Avondale station. (MARTA)

MARTA is proposing one light-rail line and two bus rapid transit routes for its Clifton Corridor transit line that would connect Buckhead’s Lindbergh Center Station to the Avondale station near downtown Decatur.

The three options presented to the public last week were narrowed from 10 options presented over the summer.

The three options are:

  1. Bus rapid transit (BRT) from Lindbergh to Avondale;
  2. BRT from Lindbergh to Avondale plus an arterial rapid transit (ART) branch to Decatur station. The ART route would puts buses in regular traffic for a stretch on Clairemont Avenue but utilize traffic signal priority. ART branches also have enhanced amenities, like shelters, seating and real-time arrival screens.
  3. Light-rail transit (LRT) from Lindbergh to Avondale.

All of these options would include a new shuttle connection to the Atlanta VA Medical Center.

“Now that we’re down to three, we’re going to get a little bit more in depth to what we’re looking at,” said Bryan Hobbs, Clifton Corridor project manager, during the Nov. 17 Zoom meeting.

These details include verything from mobility improvements, environmental benefits, congestion relief, cost effectiveness, economic development and land use to ensure ridership, he said.

A final option is expected to be presented to the public in early 2023 for input. The plan then would be for the MARTA board to vote on the final recommendation in the spring to apply for federal funding. Completion of the project is not expected until 2036.

MARTA’s Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative has been in the works for years as a crucial connection between two existing heavy rail lines through a major employment and institutional corridor in the Southeast that includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emory University, Emory University Hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Egleston, Lindbergh Center and Atlanta VA Medical Center.

The Clifton Corridor is home to more than 30,000 employees and 15,500 students. More than 2 million patients visit medical facilities in the area each year.

“This project is trying to solve a need a need and a purpose to provide frequent and reliable transit, better transit access and connectivity, and then improve access to the MARTA rail system in one of the most populous corridors from a standpoint of jobs and education in the Southeast,” Hobbs said.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.