Georgia’s Fulton County floats transit plan that includes BRT service

Dec. 15, 2017

The county’s transit master plan was crafted after public input made clear transit was desired

After a series of public forums in which county representatives engaged with residents, officials in Fulton County, Ga., have created a transit master plan that calls for extensions of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).

The $16 billion plan also calls for light rail at the north end of I-285, bus rapid transit lines in the north and south of the county, and arterial rapid transit lines that would allow more connections between stations.

The study was led by Kimley-Horn representative Eric Bosman. Government officials were given several options for funding the plan, including a quarter-penny sales tax increase that would bring in $2.4 billion over 40 years and allow for three bus rapid transit lines. Alternatively, a half-penny tax would pay for the northern MARTA extension and some bus rapid transit, but would fail to cover the cost of making connections outside those main lines.

Bus rapid transit has been gaining interest in metropolitan Atlanta. The plan’s proposed lines would run up Ga. 400 to Old Milton Parkway, and along Holcomb Bridge Road to the north. In the south, they would run along South Fulton Parkway to Ga. 92 and along U.S. 29.

The arterial rapid transit option would have the vehicles mixed in with all general traffic. Transit vehicles would have dedicated lanes at major intersections to allow them to bypass traffic as well as transit signal priority receivers on-board. Such lines were proposed on Roswell Road, Old Milton Parkway, Ga. 141, Fulton Industrial Boulevard and Camp Creek Parkway.

Officials plan to hold public hearings in January, in north and south Fulton, to present the various proposals and solicit residents response to their assessments.