MARTA visiting Emory/CDC area to discuss expansion

MARTA rolls near the King and Queen along Ga. 400.

MARTA rolls near the King and Queen along Ga. 400.

MARTA is seeking input from businesses along a potential future expansion route between Lindbergh Center and Avondale stations.

Starting this week, representatives from the transit agency will go door to door visiting businesses along the “Clifton Corridor” — one of the region’s most congested areas and one of the largest job centers in the metro area including the CDC and Emory University. The representatives will provide updates about plans to one day implement a trolley or streetcar-like service along the route.

But don’t get too excited. There isn’t any money right now to build the proposed expansion, which would cost upwards of $1 billion.

MARTA is pinning its hopes of getting additional funding on state lawmakers. The transit agency will ask the General Assembly next year to approve a proposal that would allow voters in its existing service area to choose whether to support an additional half-percent sales tax.

MARTA officials have said that if they got a federal matching grant, the proceeds from the additional tax revenue would fund the Clifton Corridor light rail line. It would also fund the expansion of heavy rail along Ga. 400 North to Windward Parkway and along I-20 East to Stonecrest Mall, according to MARTA Board Chairman Robbie Ashe.

As part of the planning and federal approval process, MARTA must inform and educate area businesses and residents by hosting or participating in public forums and community events.

For information on the project and schedule of activities, visit www.itsmarta.com/Clifton-Corr.aspx.

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