How many times have you used a MARTA bus or train to get to a Braves or Falcons game or maybe to make it to the airport without having to pay for parking? Each day, some 400,000-plus passengers use the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) to move around the city. However, for residents living in the city’s northern suburbs, taking advantage of this affordable public transportation option hasn’t been easy.
MARTA has been Atlanta’s rapid-transit system since 1971. Originally started as just a bus system, MARTA expanded to include rail service beginning in 1979. Currently, the authority has the majority of its operations in Fulton and DeKalb Counties with two bus stations in Cobb County at Cumberland Mall and Six Flags, as well as a rail station in Clayton County at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The authority also operates several park and ride facilities at Windward Parkway, Mansell Road, Stone Mountain and a couple of other locations.
However, recent news from the authority reveals that it is exploring the potential to expand its bus and/or rail offerings for the first time in 13 years to include a 12-mile stretch of GA 400 from Dunwoody to Alpharetta.
The plan, which hasn’t been solidified, could include bus rapid transit service or an extension of the rail line from the North Springs station to Windward Parkway with as many as six stations in between at key locations such as Mansell Road and North Point Mall.
This expansion would bring relief to the many North Fulton new home residents commuting in the often-times traffic jammed corridor. “That area has been growing by leaps and bounds, particularly in terms of employment,” said Janide Sidifall, project manager for MARTA in a story on 11 Alive. “It’s a huge employment center.” Sidfall also mentioned that the North Fulton area has become a hub for higher education with campuses for Georgia Perimeter College, Georgia State University and a future Georgia Gwinnett College campus.
If you’re interested in learning more about this expansion or have input, the authority will hold its first public hearing on the matter on September 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Alpharetta City Hall (2 Main Street).
What are your thoughts on the possible MARTA expansion? Do you think it will make North Fulton real estate even more desirable? Let us know in the comments section below.