It appears MARTA is beginning the process to expand up the GA-400 Corridor toward (but not into) Forsyth County. Dave Williams of The Atlanta Business Chronicle has the scoop:
MARTA is planning to extend transit service along the Georgia 400 corridor in North Fulton County, with up to six new stations.
The agency is focusing on an alignment that would run heavy rail, light rail or bus rapid transit within existing right-of-way for 11.9 miles from the North Springs MARTA station in Dunwoody, Ga., north to Windward Parkway in Alpharetta, Ga., according to a public notice of the project filed by the Federal Transit Administration.
The project would be the first expansion of the MARTA system since the Sandy Springs and North Springs stations opened in 2000, also on the Georgia 400 corridor.
A few key items here. Do not underestimate the importance of the words “within existing right of way”. That significantly reduces the cost of any expansion, as well as speeds up the time frame when this could be accomplished.
The words “Bus Rapid Transit” are also sorely misunderstood with the public. This is not merely “express buses” like GRTA uses. Think more like a train on wheels using HOV/HOT lanes with dedicated stations. It’s not merely bus service. Expect to see a lot more talk about BRT going forward when transit is discussed. It’s cheaper to implement, and easier to change routes if population/traffic patterns change.