MARTA Approves 15-Mile Rapid Transit Project Connecting Southlake Mall to Atlanta Airport

MARTA approves amended plan for Rapid Southlake project, a 15-mile rapid transit route linking Clayton County destinations to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The project will advance to design phases and environmental studies, with funding applications to follow this summer.

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Bijay Laxmi
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MARTA Approves 15-Mile Rapid Transit Project Connecting Southlake Mall to Atlanta Airport

MARTA Approves 15-Mile Rapid Transit Project Connecting Southlake Mall to Atlanta Airport

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has given the green light to an amended plan for the Rapid Southlake project, a 15-mile rapid transit route that will link key destinations in Clayton County, Georgia, including Southlake Mall, the Shops of Riverdale, Southern Regional Medical Center, and MARTA's Airport Station to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The high-capacity bus system will operate in dedicated right-of-way and mixed traffic lanes, providing a vital transportation connection for the metro Atlanta area.

Why this matters: This project will significantly improve access to employment opportunities, healthcare, and commercial centers, ultimately enhancing the overall quality of life for residents in Clayton County and the surrounding areas. By investing in public transportation infrastructure, the region can also reduce traffic congestion and promote more sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation options.

Stations along the Rapid Southlake route will feature modern amenities such as off-board fare payments, seating, and digital signage to enhance the passenger experience. MARTA General Manager and CEO Collie Greenwood expressed enthusiasm for the project, stating, "We are thrilled by the progress of Rapid Southlake, a dynamic project that will provide generational impacts for those living, working, or traveling in Clayton County." Greenwood also highlighted the significance of the direct connection to the airport's Domestic Terminal, noting its potential to improve access to thousands of airport-related jobs and bolster the project's competitiveness for federal funding.

With the approval of the amended plan, the Rapid Southlake project will now advance to additional design phases and environmental studies. MARTA officials are set to apply for funding from the Federal Transit Administration this summer. The groundbreaking ceremony for MARTA Rapid was held on June 15, 2023, marking a significant milestone in the project's development.

The Rapid Southlake project represents a major step forward in enhancing public transportation options and connectivity in Clayton County and the greater Atlanta region. By providing a direct, efficient link between key commercial, medical, and transportation hubs, the rapid transit system aims to improve mobility, access to employment opportunities, and overall quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

Key Takeaways

  • MARTA approves 15-mile Rapid Southlake bus rapid transit project in Clayton County, GA.
  • Route links Southlake Mall, Shops of Riverdale, Southern Regional Medical Center, and Airport Station.
  • Project to improve access to employment, healthcare, and commercial centers.
  • Stations to feature modern amenities, including off-board fare payments and digital signage.
  • MARTA to apply for federal funding this summer, with groundbreaking ceremony held on June 15, 2023.