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Critical Federal Environmental Study Completed

For the past four years, the transit and transportation team at the Atlanta BeltLine has worked tirelessly towards completion of a critical study that lays the groundwork for future federal funding. The Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) determines the alignment of transit and trails in the Atlanta BeltLine corridor, advances transit implementation, and makes the project eligible for future federal funds.

The Tier 1 EIS for the 22-mile corridor was conducted by MARTA in partnership with Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. on behalf of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). This significant milestone has allowed us, with FTA’s support, to make key planning decisions called for in the Atlanta BeltLine Five Year Work Plan including:

  • Determination of a preferred alignment of the Atlanta BeltLine trails and transit in the northwest quadrant of the City, where freight rail is the most active;
  • Selection of modern streetcar as the technology for the project, which is the same technology being used by the Atlanta Streetcar; and
  • Identification of right-of-way needed to complete the loop.

The federal EIS recommended modern streetcar as the preferred transit for the Atlanta BeltLine which will integrate seamlessly with the Atlanta Streetcar.

Next steps are to begin Tier 2 environmental documents for the portions of the Atlanta BeltLine corridor and Atlanta Streetcar extensions that are priorities for federal funding.  The Atlanta Regional Commission has allocated $1.47 million in funding for Tier 2 activities this year.  We hope to complete this work over the next one to two years’ timeframe.

A special congratulations and thanks is extended to Nate Conable, Director of Transit and Transportation, Patrick Sweeney, Sr. Project Manager and Dr. Scott and the staff at MARTA, our partner on the Tier 1 EIS project!

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