Edgewood Avenue Bridge

The Edgewood Avenue Bridge has been demolished and is being rebuilt over the Eastside Trail extension.
Photo Credit: Christopher Martin

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The Atlanta BeltLine

Where Atlanta Comes Together. Learn more

 
 
Transit

A Long-Term Vision

At its core, the Atlanta BeltLine is a transportation program that encompasses transit, trails, and connectivity. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. is the organization charged with the planning and implementation of the 50-mile Atlanta Streetcar system that will run through and around the city, including the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine corridor. This system will connect to the downtown and crosstown lines and MARTA stations across the city.

A Coordinated Approach

The Atlanta Streetcar System Plan (SSP) integrates the Atlanta Streetcar System along major on-street corridors and the Atlanta BeltLine, with a focus on connecting neighborhoods to key destinations and activity centers. The SSP is a supplement to the Connect Atlanta Plan and works in tandem with the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP). The SSP was adopted by the Atlanta City Council on December 8, 2015.

A Thorough Review Process

Along with building the strategy for intown route operation and integration, the SSP also establishes criteria for advancing streetcar corridors by evaluating project readiness, equity, value, funding, and ridership. The SSP is a result of ongoing technical analysis and community engagement that originated in 2011. The plan calls for 50 miles of new streetcar routes and 12 miles of connected transit, which includes investment in other forms of public transportation to provide additional connectivity to the streetcar system.

Atlanta Streetcar System Map

Explore the Atlanta Streetcar system. To view larger map, click on image below.

Assessing the Impact

Several studies are currently underway to advance transit work that will ultimately bring the Atlanta Streetcar to the Atlanta BeltLine corridor.

Determining Best Practices

Federal studies called “environmental assessments” are milestones that use various metrics to evaluate the impact of transit on the environment, noise, and social equity. These studies also serve to determine the best route for transit based on the above factors as well as costs, feasibility, and project readiness.

Currently Under Review

Environmental assessment studies are presently in progress for the following routes:

Atlanta BeltLine East

Atlanta BeltLine East encompasses the corridor from Montgomery Ferry to Glenwood Avenue. Particular areas of study include navigation around Hulsey Yard, connectivity to MARTA, and connection to the Atlanta Streetcar. Atlanta BeltLine East will either connect with the Downtown Atlanta Streetcar at Edgewood Avenue, using Auburn Avenue to meet the corridor at-grade, or using Jackson Street by way of Irwin Street. Two potential routes to navigating around Hulsey Yard were evaluated in the study. Connecting the Atlanta Streetcar to Memorial Drive by way of Jackson Street, Decatur Street, and the existing Grant Street tunnel was rated as the best choice based on a variety of criteria. The other alternative under evaluation is connecting to the Eastside Trail corridor at Irwin Street and constructing a new tunnel under Hulsey Yard. This alternative would also require a spur connection to the Inman Park-Reynoldstown MARTA station to enhance connectivity.

View the Atlanta BeltLine East Transit Map


Atlanta BeltLine West

The Atlanta BeltLine West encompasses the corridor from University Avenue to Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. The environmental assessment will define streetcar connectivity with MARTA, as well as the trail and streetcar alignment north of Joseph E. Boone Boulevard. On the northern end of this corridor, potential MARTA connectivity options include Bankhead station, a new MARTA station at Joseph E Boone Boulevard, or a spur connection to the Ashby station. On the southern end of this corridor, potential MARTA connectivity options include West End and Oakland City stations.

View the Atlanta BeltLine West Transit Map


North Avenue/Luckie Street

The North Avenue/Luckie Street line connects Atlanta BeltLine East and Atlanta BeltLine West across town. Currently under study is the connection from Luckie Street to the Bankhead MARTA station, pictured below. The most likely options for this connection are by way of Tech Parkway, or Northside Drive to Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. This study also includes the connection to the Downtown Atlanta Streetcar. Several options are being evaluated to circumnavigate Centennial Park. Also being considered are single-track loops on West Peachtree and Peachtree Street, or a route that utilizes Marietta Street.

View the Atlanta BeltLine Crosstown Transit Map

Looking Ahead

Ultimately, the Atlanta Streetcar System Plan (SSP) calls for 50 miles of priority streetcar routes and connectivity to MARTA. It is an essential element of the vision for the Atlanta BeltLine to provide the framework for smart growth and enhance the city’s sustainability and economic vitality.

A Network of Connectivity

The Atlanta Streetcar System Plan (SSP) identifies six planned corridors designed to link the Atlanta BeltLine to existing MARTA rail systems and major destinations throughout the city. Download the full plan, or drill down on the corridors below:

Crosstown Peachtree Line

The Crosstown Peachtree Line runs from Fort McPherson to the northwest Atlanta BeltLine corridor via the Peachtree Street/West Peachtree Street/Peters Street/Lee Street Corridor.
The bi-directional on-street transit will serve key destinations such as:

  • Fort McPherson
  • Downtown
  • Midtown
  • Fox Theater
  • Woodruff Arts Center
  • Piedmont Hospital


Crosstown Midtown Line

The Crosstown Midtown Line runs from Atlanta BeltLine West to Atlanta BeltLine East by way of Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway/North Avenue corridor. The bi-directional on-street transit will serve the following key destinations:

  • Bankhead MARTA station
  • Georgia Tech
  • North Avenue MARTA station
  • Midtown
  • Historic Fourth Ward Park
  • Ponce City Market


Crosstown Crescent Line

The Crosstown Crescent Line runs from Atlanta BeltLine West to the southeast portion of the Atlanta BeltLine by way of Joseph E. Lowery Blvd, Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, and Georgia Avenue. The bi-directional on-street transit will serve the following key destinations:

  • Ashby MARTA station
  • Atlanta University Center
  • West End MARTA station
  • Grant Park
  • Boulevard Crossing Park


Atlanta BeltLine Central Loop

The Atlanta BeltLine Central Loop circles the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine Loop. This line is bi-directional and serves the following key destinations:

  • Westside Reservoir Park
  • Piedmont Hospital
  • Piedmont Park
  • Historic Fourth Ward Park
  • Boulevard Crossing Park
  • Murphy’s Crossing
  • Enota Park
  • Maddox Park


Crosstown Inner Loop

The Crosstown Inner Loop circles the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine corridor and also connects Atlanta BeltLine West to Atlanta BeltLine East by way of Fair Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Luckie Street, Irwin Street, and Edgewood Avenue. The currently operating downtown Atlanta Streetcar line would be utilized in this alignment. This route is bi-directional on-street, and one-way operation around the Atlanta BeltLine corridor, serving the following key destinations:

  • Centennial Olympic Park
  • Downtown
  • Georgia State University
  • The King Center
  • Westside Reservoir Park
  • Piedmont Hospital
  • Piedmont Park


Crosstown Outer Loop

The Crosstown Outer Loop circles the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine corridor and also connects the northeast corridor of the Atlanta BeltLine with the southeast corridor of the Atlanta BeltLine by way of Northside Drive, Luckie Street, Capital Avenue, and Hank Aaron Drive. This route is bi-directional on-street, and one-way operation around the Atlanta BeltLine corridor, serving the following key destinations:

  • Georgia Tech
  • Centennial Olympic Park
  • Downtown
  • Georgia State
  • Westside Reservoir Park
  • Piedmont Hospital
  • Piedmont Park


Atlanta Streetcar System Routes

Explore the Atlanta Streetcar system routes. To view larger map, click on image below.

Atlanta Streetcar System Map

Moving Atlanta Forward into the Future

Transit is at the heart of the Atlanta BeltLine. It was the key innovation proposed by Ryan Gravel’s thesis in 1999 when the Atlanta BeltLine was first conceived. The idea evolved over time through the Atlanta BeltLine Redevelopment Plan, which was adopted by the Atlanta City Council in 2005. Since then, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., the City of Atlanta, and MARTA have worked collaboratively to advance transit on the Atlanta BeltLine and throughout the city.

Major Developments Along the Way

There have been a number of important milestones in the evolution of the transit component of the Atlanta BeltLine vision:

The Connect Atlanta Plan

In 2008, the Atlanta City Council adopted the Connect Atlanta Plan, the city’s first comprehensive transit plan. Created to guide the future of transportation in Atlanta, the plan envisioned the expansion of MARTA rail and bus service, and proposed streetcar connectivity. The plan also called for a comprehensive streetscape and bicycle lane network, along with new streets, road widening, and pedestrian facilities.

Atlanta Streetcar Finding of No Significant Impact

The Atlanta Streetcar NEPA Environmental Assessment found that the build alternative for the Atlanta Streetcar would support and enhance livability in the study area, contribute to long-term economic competitiveness in the Atlanta region, and provide a safe and convenient travel option. The build alternative of the Atlanta Streetcar was selected as the Locally Preferred Alternative. The FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) for the Atlanta Streetcar EA was issued by the FTA in March 2011.

Record of Decision for Tier 1 EIS

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), in cooperation with the MARTA and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI), conducted a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) process to advance the transit component of the 22- mile Atlanta BeltLine Corridor. Findings concluded the streetcar as the selected transit technology due to its better performance in terms of identified impacts, costs and ROW requirements, as well as compatibility with future streetcar projects.

Strategic Implementation Plan

In 2013, the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Board of Directors adopted the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) that would guide the Atlanta BeltLine’s development through to completion in 2030. The SIP builds on previous studies to prioritize the build of transit, trails, parks, and streetscapes along the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine corridor and projects costs and funding mechanism for each program component. The SIP’s transportation component supplements the final Atlanta Streetcar System Plan adopted by Atlanta City Council in 2015.

Draft Atlanta Streetcar System Plan

The Atlanta Streetcar System Plan provides a vision for expansion and implementation of an integrated streetcar system throughout the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta BeltLine. In 2014, the first draft of the plan named the Atlanta BeltLine/Atlanta Streetcar System Plan (SSP) was created to provide short term direction and long guidance for the expansion of the Atlanta Streetcar system. This document would be the basis for the revised Atlanta Streetcar System Plan that was adopted by Atlanta City Council in December 2015. Recent updates include multiple crosstown streetcar routes that integrate seamlessly with streetcar service along the Atlanta BeltLine corridor, connecting communities with key destinations, employment centers and MARTA service. Instead of focusing on a phasing strategy identified in the previous draft, future expansion of the streetcar system will be guided by a framework of criteria that supports continued expansion along corridors that connect to current streetcar service in operation. How much of the system that can be implemented at a given time, will depend on the availability of funding identified and committed to build, operate and maintain the streetcar system.

Dealing in Details

There are many moving parts involved in building out a network of trails and rails. These numerous documents, assessments, and maps provide a comprehensive view for these aspects of the project.

DocumentDescription
The Atlanta BeltLine West TransitThe Atlanta BeltLine West encompasses the corridor from University Avenue to Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway.
Atlanta BeltLine East Transit Alignments MapAtlanta BeltLine East encompasses the corridor from Montgomery Ferry to Glenwood Avenue. Particular areas of study include navigation around Hulsey Yard, connectivity to MARTA, and connection to the Atlanta Streetcar.
Atlanta Streetcar North Avenue Luckie CrosstownImage of the North Avenue/Luckie Street line connects Atlanta BeltLine East and Atlanta BeltLine West across town.
Atlanta BeltLine/Atlanta Streetcar System PlanThe final Atlanta BeltLine/Atlanta Streetcar System Plan (SSP) adopted by Atlanta City Council on December 8, 2015.
Environmental Assessments for TransitThis map shows the Environmental Assessment corridors for transit along the east and west sides of the Atlanta BeltLine. Published in March 2014.
Transit Alignment MapJPG image of transit and trail alignment as determined by the Environmental Impact Statement in fall 2012.
Work is in Progress!

Environmental reviews must be completed for transit projects to be eligible for federal funding, and three transit corridors are being studied by Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Learn more.

Environmental Impact Statement

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires Federal agencies to prepare environmental impact statements (EISs) for major Federal actions that significantly affect the quality of the human environment, and we are DEFINITELY doing that! Learn more.