MARTA intends to notify the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) of the Southlake BRT’s entry into the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) “Small Starts” program by the end of the year. The Southlake BRT project will be one of the first of several projects in the near term for MARTA since 1994 to seek FTA CIG funding, according to a press release.
The estimated $300 million BRT project will provide high-capacity transit service connecting the College Park MARTA Station to several key destinations in Clayton County including Airport Gateway, Shops of Riverdale, Southern Regional Medical Center campus, Mount Zion commercial corridor, and the Southlake Mall.
Features of the BRT system will be similar to those found in rail investments including dedicated transit lanes, more frequent service, BRT-focused stations, and transit-oriented development opportunities.
“This is much more than an operating bus route; it is a major, permanent infrastructure investment in Clayton County,” MARTA Chief of Capital Programs, Expansion & Innovation Manjeet Ranu said in a statement. “We appreciate the support of the commissioners, and MARTA is committed to delivering a best-in-class BRT project for Clayton by 2026.”
Based on a preliminary funding plan, MARTA says it would likely issue bonds against the 1% MARTA sales tax in Clayton to support delivery of this project. MARTA expects the FTA Small Starts program to provide the bulk of federal support, targeting $100 million in the form of a Small Starts Grant Agreement.