(Atlanta — Jan 23, 2019)
‘Concept 3’ to Help Inform Regional Transit Planning
The Atlanta Regional Commission board today approved an update to Concept 3, the region’s long-range vision for potential transit expansion.
ARC developed Concept 3 in collaboration with local governments and transportation agencies. As a vision, Concept 3 incorporates their top priority transit projects without considering available funding.
Concept 3 identifies 50 potential transit projects, from heavy rail to rapid bus lines, across Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, and Gwinnett counties and the city of Atlanta. The regional transit vision will help guide future planning and investments in the Atlanta region, including a 13-county Regional Transit Plan to be developed later this year by the newly formed Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority, or the ATL.
“Transit has helped shape metro Atlanta and fuel our region’s growth,” said ARC Executive Director Doug Hooker. “Concept 3 presents an exciting vision of how an expanded transit network can provide new transportation options, improve mobility across the region, and maintain our economic competitiveness.”
The Concept 3 report and an interactive map can be found at atlantaregional.org/concept3. Projects are grouped according to seven geographic areas. Highlights include:
- City of Atlanta: Atlanta Streetcar expansion on the entire Atlanta BeltLine loop and several crosstown routes
- Clayton County: Commuter rail to Lovejoy; bus rapid transit on U.S 41
- Cobb County: A bus rapid transit line to connect Kennesaw State University and the Arts Center MARTA station
- DeKalb County: Light rail on Clifton Corridor between Lindbergh and Avondale MARTA stations
- Gwinnett County: Heavy rail between Doraville MARTA station and Jimmy Carter Boulevard
- North Fulton County: Bus-rapid transit line on Piedmont/Roswell roads
- South Fulton County: Bus rapid transit on Roosevelt Highway and South Fulton Industrial.
- Regional: Light rail line on the top end of I-285, from Vinings in Cobb to Doraville in DeKalb.
The projects in Concept 3 reflect what communities ultimately would like to see, without factoring in funding constraints. For example, a heavy rail line along a major roadway may first be built as a bus rapid transit line until additional funding is obtained.
Concept 3 was created in 2008 and previously updated in 2012. The 2018 update was developed using a data-driven process to evaluate potential transit projects on a range of factors, including:
- Reliability – expected on-time performance
- Connectivity – to other transit service
- Efficiency – jobs and people within a half-mile of stations
- Sensitivity – to culturally and environmentally sensitive areas
- Social Equity – minority and low-income population within a half-mile of stations
- Compatibility – ratio of jobs to people within a half-mile of stations
- Job Accessibility – measurement of total population and social equity factors
“Attitudes about public transit are changing in metro Atlanta,” Hooker said. “We’re seeing greater interest in transit as way to improve quality of life and drive our economy forward. Concept 3 will help shape future discussions about expanding transit options throughout our region.”
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties, as well as the city of Atlanta and 73 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.
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