ATL transit workshop

ATL District 1 Board Member Andy Macke describes the process to determine future transit projects affecting North Fulton County at a special workshop Oct. 29 at Alpharetta City Hall. The full ATL board is set to finalize

a regional transit plan in mid-December.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Representatives from the metro region’s transit planning agency released early details of some 192 projects it is studying for funding.

The Atlanta Region Transit Link Authority (the ATL) held the eighth in a series of 10 “District Downloads” it is sponsoring throughout the area to update residents on plans it is pursuing to improve public transportation connectivity across its 13-county jurisdiction. The latest session was held Oct. 29 at Alpharetta’s City Hall.

The workshops are designed to give residents a sneak peek at the Atlanta Regional Transit Plan, which is scheduled to go before the ATL board this week, according to Lori Sand, planner with the ATL. The board is not expected to consider the plan for adoption until it meets in December.

Sand said the 192 projects were submitted by local transit services, cities, counties and community improvement districts. The projects range in cost and scope from CobbLinc’s $800,000 transit signal priority plan to MARTA’s $1.4 billion proposed heavy rail line to Stonecrest in DeKalb County.

Other projects with varying price tags include renovation of pedestrian bridges at $6.3 million and MARTA’s bus rapid transit service for Ga. 400 at $300 million.

The ATL staff culled the original project list to 79 projects that have been identified as having assumed federal or state discretionary funding sources. These 79 projects, Sand said, were evaluated based on 14 criteria, primarily weighing the amount of impact each will have for the cost. Each project was then assigned a numerical value and charted based on how much it delivers for the buck.

“That’s sort of a cost-effectiveness measure so we could get a sense of how all the projects scored relative to each other,” Sand said.

Of the 79 projects charted, 25 were identified as high impact at a relative low cost. These 25 projects, taken together, carried an estimated total price tag of about $1.7 billion. 

Another 25 projects, identified as low cost and low impact, are estimated at $0.5 billion. 

There are 26 projects, with an estimated cost of $13.8 billion, identified as high cost with high impact.

The ATL was created last year to coordinate service and expansion of 10 transit systems in 13 metro Atlanta counties.

“Over the past 11 months since the ATL has been put together, we have been very hard at work at No. 1: delivering on our legislative mandates,” said Andy Macke, who represents large portions of North Fulton on the 16-member ATL Board of Directors.

One of the first initiatives, he said, was to establish a brand for the ATL with a new logo so that every capital project created under the new agency would remind Metro Atlanta residents of their representation.

Macke said one of the most important endeavors so far has been incorporating the goals and concerns of all the varying transit agencies operating within Metro Atlanta. The ATL, he said, is dedicated to assist these agencies in promoting their best projects for the benefit of the region.

Macke said the public can stay informed about what the ATL is doing and provide feedback through the District Downloads.

The District Downloads are opportunities for citizens to receive information about the 192 proposed transit projects submitted to the ATL and learn how those projects work together to form a connected network of transit options in the Atlanta Regional Transit Plan.

To study the proposed transit plan and upload comments, visit

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