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The Atlanta BeltLine

Where Atlanta Comes Together. Learn more

 
 
Transit

A Long-Term Vision

The Atlanta BeltLine is 100% committed to rail transit. At our core, we are a transportation program encompassing transit, trails, connectivity, and economic and community development. Rail transit on the Atlanta BeltLine will build upon the existing Atlanta Streetcar to bring transit to the 22-mile loop with crosstown connections to ultimately create a 50-mile network integrated with MARTA. In addition, over 40 miles of safer streets and pedestrian pathways will be created to connect nearby neighborhoods into the loop.

A Coordinated Approach

Two major efforts are underway to advance transit on the Atlanta BeltLine: the More MARTA program and federal NEPA studies. These support the Atlanta Streetcar System Plan (SSP) which focuses on connecting neighborhoods to key destinations and activity centers. The SSP is a supplement to the City’s Connect Atlanta Plan and works in tandem with Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.’s Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP).

More MARTA 

In 2016, City of Atlanta voters passed the $0.05 More MARTA sales tax in support of Atlanta’s transit future. Since then, MARTA formed the Joint Prioritization Leadership Group (JPLG) to identify the projects to be funded and phasing for implementation. 

Sixteen projects throughout the City of Atlanta will be funded through the More MARTA sales tax. This includes approximately $1.2 billion in funding for  Atlanta BeltLine transit projects. See map in sidebar.

The Big Picture

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. The SSP was adopted by the Atlanta City Council on December 8, 2015.

Atlanta BeltLine Projects in the More MARTA Program

Explore More MARTA’s plan for light rail transit on the Atlanta BeltLine. To view larger map, click on image below.

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 and funding sources that will ultimately bring the Atlanta Streetcar to the Atlanta BeltLine corridor.

Collaborating with More MARTA

In June 2019, MARTA’s Board of Directors will vote on the phasing for projects as presented by the Joint Prioritization Leadership Group (JPLG). This will determine how and when projects are funded. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. continues to pursue all possible sources of funding in support of the full light rail transit system.

Working Side-by-Side with the Federal Government

NEPA documentation is environmental work required by the federal government for eligibility for financial support from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. currently has four light rail transit corridors in review amounting to 18 miles of streetcar and four connections to MARTA stations. They support the above-listed projects in the More MARTA program and include the following scopes:

Currently Under Review

The corridors currently under NEPA documentation are the following:

Atlanta BeltLine East+-

The study area for Atlanta BeltLine East includes the existing Eastside Trail, plus the  northern and southern extensions – from Buford Highway all the way to Glenwood Avenue. This corridor is unique in that two alignment possibilities will be submitted to the FTA in order to leave room for the possibility of a connection to the MARTA King Memorial Station, and the possibility of a tunnel under Hulsey Yard.

Atlanta BeltLine West+-

Atlanta BeltLine West encompasses the corridor from the south end of the Westside Trail at University Avenue to the north end at Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, near Maddox Park. The study also includes a connection to the Oakland City MARTA rail station and a potential connection to the Bankhead MARTA rail station.

Crosstown Midtown+-

The Crosstown Midtown line spans Donald Lee Hollowell/North Avenue corridor across Atlanta, connecting Atlanta BeltLine West and Atlanta BeltLine East through several neighborhoods, including Midtown. This route also connects Midtown to Downtown by way of Luckie Street, linking to the existing Downtown Atlanta Streetcar’s 1.3-mile loop.

Crosstown Downtown+-

The Crosstown Downtown line completes the connection of Atlanta BeltLine East and Atlanta BeltLine West via the existing Downtown Atlanta Streetcar line. This corridor will provide connectivity to and from Atlanta University Center (AUC), serving employees at Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College, along with the communities of southwest Atlanta.

 

Atlanta BeltLine NEPA Routes

To view larger map, click on image below.

Streetcar_Overview

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:

Atlanta BeltLine 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 Loop+-

The Crosstown Loop connects the Eastside Trail at Irwin Street to the Westside Trail at Westview Drive. It includes the current Atlanta Streetcar A-Line. This line is bi-directional and serves the following key destinations:

  • Atlanta University Center
  • Georgia World Congress Center
  • Mercedes Benz Stadium
  • Centennial Olympic Park
  • Downtown
  • Peachtree Center MARTA Station
  • Georgia State University
  • MLK Center for Nonviolent Social Change
  • Old Fourth Ward

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 the Westside Trail to the Southside Trail 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:

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

Crosstown Capital Loop+-

The Crosstown Capital Loop will connect the northern arc of the Atlanta BeltLine to the Southside Trail via a north-south route. It is anticipated to run along Northside Drive, North Avenue, Luckie Street, Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, and Hank Aaron Drive. This route is bi-directional, on-street transit, serving the following key destinations:

  • Future Waterworks Park
  • Georgia Tech
  • Centennial Olympic Park
  • Downtown
  • Georgia State University
  • Turner Field
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:

Atlanta BeltLine / Atlanta Streetcar System Plan+-

The Atlanta BeltLine/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.

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.

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.

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
Atlanta Streetcar System Plan Transit Routes MapThis map shows the six planned routes for the Atlanta Streetcar System Plan, including the Atlanta BeltLine Loop, Crosstown Loop (including the current Atlanta Streetcar), Crosstown Midtown Line, Crosstown Peachtree Line, Crosstown Crescent Line, and the Crosstown Capital Loop. Current as of January 2017.
Atlanta BeltLine/Atlanta Streetcar System PlanThe final Atlanta BeltLine/Atlanta Streetcar System Plan (SSP) adopted by Atlanta City Council on December 8, 2015. The SSP documents the City of Atlanta’s approach to building out this streetcar network over time in a manner that is efficient, cost effective, mobility focused, supportive of regional transit, and integrated with the economic development initiatives led by the City, Invest Atlanta and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
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.