A maps of the propose light rail line along the Clifton Corridor.

MARTA is exploring using a type of “off-wire” train or bus rapid transit (BRT) for the long-proposed transit connection from Lindbergh station to the Emory University/CDC campuses.

Light rail along the corridor, which would also connect to the Avondale Station, was first conceived more than 60 years ago, but only started gaining renewed traction in 2012. While light rail is still on the table, it appears MARTA is looking for a less expensive alternative.

MARTA officials told the Atlanta City Council Transportation Committee on Thursday it is exploring so-called “off-wire” technology – essentially a battery-operated train without an overhead wire – that would make the Clifton Corridor line more compatible with the CSX freight line it would run alongside.

Transit officials said they are also considering a BRT line for the Clifton Corridor, similar to the one soon to connect Downtown with Summerhill and proposed for the Campbellton Road Corridor.

Interim MARTA CEO Collie Greenwood said initial study for BRT on the Clifton Corridor showed an “improvement for cost, time, and flexible operational efficiency.”

Greenwood said MARTA was working an “aggressive schedule” to narrow down the most efficient mode by the end of the year.

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.