Countywide transit study moves to final phase

Meetings scheduled to gather public input



ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Fulton County is kicking off a final series of open houses this month to gather the public’s input on the future of transit.

The meetings are the third and final phase in preparing a countywide master plan for Fulton County transit.

The Transit Master Plan is being funded through a federal grant contribution of $800,000 from the Atlanta Regional Commission. Fulton County’s 14 cities – outside of Atlanta – are chipping in the final $200,000 on a per capita basis. The study is being conducted independent of feasibility studies already performed by MARTA

This round of meetings will focus on four primary types of transit – heavy rail, light rail, bus rapid transit and arterial rapid transit – and where they can be implemented.

The first meeting was scheduled for Jan. 10 in Best Western, 907 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell. The next meeting in North Fulton will be from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Atlanta Marriott, 5750 Windward Parkway, Alpharetta.

Last month, representatives from the county and cities met to see the latest data based on public input from earlier meetings and from market studies.

The market-based scenario, which includes current and future work patterns, calls for heavy rail extending north along Ga. 400 from Sandy Springs to Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell. Heavy rail is no small expense, averaging as much as $250 million per mile.

Light rail, which averages around $150 million per mile in cost, is being considered around the northern arc of I-285.

Bus rapid transit, which could include free access to managed lanes, is being considered along Ga. 400 from Holcomb Bridge Road to Windward Parkway and along Holcomb Bridge Road and Ga. 141 in North Fulton.

Arterial Rapid Transit, which would operate amid other roadway traffic, is being considered for Roswell Road and along Old Milton Parkway.

Transit discussions have gained new interest in the past decade as commercial and office development has grown along Ga. 400. Economic forecast studies show the Ga. 400 corridor will continue to draw jobs.

The Transit Master Plan kicked off last April with a series of community meetings to introduce residents to the benefits and options within mass transit. Since then, the county has held 26 public meetings in all 14 cities, 12 special population meetings and five community events.

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