The City of Atlanta and MARTA has received a $12.6 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the United States Department of Transportation. The grant will help fund a $48.6 million, 9.4-mile route of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) from Summerhill – where the former Turner Field area is being redeveloped – to the Arts Center Station in Midtown.

“This TIGER grant is more than an investment in our city’s infrastructure, it is a long overdue investment in an often-overlooked area of our City,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “The dividends paid by investing in South Atlanta will boost our economy and lift up communities long-waiting for opportunity. This news is further evidence of what can be accomplished when we reach across partisan and governmental lines to work together for a common good.”

The Summerhill Bus Rapid Transit is an approximately 9.4-mile bus rapid transit route connecting the Summerhill neighborhood of Atlanta anchored by Georgia State University to MARTA’s heavy rail system and the Atlanta Streetcar. The route will include stations and vehicles linking Midtown, Piedmont Park, Downtown, existing MARTA stations, and the new Summerhill mixed-use development. The Summerhill mixed-use development from Georgia State University and Carter will feature a mix of housing, offices, retail, restaurants and more around what is now Georgia State University Stadium.

This announcement represents the very first installation of BRT in the state of Georgia. BRT is a high-capacity transit system that utilizes existing roadways and dedicated lanes to quickly transport passengers throughout a city or region via bus. BRT lines are connected to local traffic grids so they trip lights, stop less frequently than traditional buses, and have pre-pay ticketing systems.

The project also includes the purchase of approximately five new bus rapid transit vehicles that will operate in a mix of exclusive and shared roadways and the installation of approximately 30 transit station locations with level boarding along with other conveniences.

“We are incredibly excited to see BRT in Atlanta,” said Robbie Ashe, MARTA Chairman. “BRT has been widely successful in the United States and abroad, and I’m excited to see it come to Atlanta. We look forward to working with US DOT and the City on this transformative project.”

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.