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MARTA Proposes Emory Rail Line

By Lance Powell Posted: 04/26/2011
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The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) may develop a new rail line to go through the Emory campus if that particular component of its 2012 referendum is adopted, according to a March 28 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The proposed rail line would run from the Lindbergh MARTA station to the University’s main campus, according to the MARTA website.

The plan is part of a larger proposed project meant to improve and increase the availability of the transit system in Atlanta, according to the AJC article.

According to the AJC, MARTA staff members in Atlanta and surrounding counties each submitted a list of possible projects this month in hopes that the project would receive funding from the referendum Georgia HB 277.

This referendum will enable residents in suburban counties to vote for a one-cent tax, according to Adele Clements, director of Parking and Transportation Services at the University.

Clements stated that Georgia HB 277, which will be voted on in 2012, represents a local funding opportunity in addition to federal funding.

Crocker said that the plans, along with an extension of rail service from Indian Creek station to I-20 and Wesley Chapel are the biggest projects under consideration.

John Crocker, director of regional service coordination at MARTA, explained that the Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative has been in the works for the past two years.

It is additionally the latest project meant for studying the feasibility of this transit system, Crocker explained.

However, he noted that there have been plans proposed for direct rail connections to the Emory area for several decades.

Crocker referenced a 1961 plan that was created when MARTA was originally being organized that included the campus in possible direct rail service.

In an email to the Wheel, Clements wrote that the Clifton Corridor has been included in regional transit studies for more than ten years, including previous studies which examined potential options to connect the Corridor with the Lindbergh MARTA line.

Clements also heads the Clifton Corridor Transportation Management Association (CCTMA).

She noted that Emory University, along with many other agencies, was a founding member of the Clifton Corridor.

“Emory University, including Emory Healthcare, will continue to work with MARTA as a key stakeholder and user of future transit services to the Corridor,” Clements commented.

Crocker stressed the importance of completing the rail line through Emory’s campus, explaining that the University and its surrounding points of interest require options for transportation.

“It is very important to maintain the CDC [Centers for Disease Control] and Emory as a viable transportation center,” Crocker commented.

The project managers include Clements; Jason Morgan, MARTA project manager and Grady Smith, the consultant project manager from MARTA.

Currently, three MARTA routes serve the Emory campus. Additional transportation services are offered by the Emory CLIFF service, with routes that serve the Clifton Corridor and connect to the Decatur MARTA station.

— Contact Lance Powell.

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