From Peachtree Screed:
Sam Olens, chairman of the Cobb County Commission and chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission, is leaning away from bus rapid transit, or BRT, as a solution for service along the northwest corridor —- the area between Atlanta and Marietta.
“It’s always been my position that light rail would better serve the northwest corridor than BRT,” Olens said. “And it’s not just the 75 corridor. Light rail should be going up the 85 corridor and along 285.”
Once there were proposals to extend MARTA along Ga. 400 up to Windward and to extend rail up to Gwinnett Place mall. Now would be a good time to reconsider and revive those plans.
It has been proven in other metro areas that rail is a much easier sell than buses when it comes to asking voters in a referendum to pay for transit. Plus, rail has far greater potential to stimulate transit-oriented development than BRT.
Olens said he began becoming more supportive of rail when the I-75 HOV/BRT project kept getting expanded and was projected to cost $4 billion. Once we’re talking billions, Olens said it’s time to think rail.
“If we are looking long-term, we really need to handle more capacity than BRT can handle,” Olens said, adding that he supports additional transit throughout the region.