MARTA officials this week are celebrating an injection of federal funding they say will help create a blueprint for development in historically underserved communities southwest of downtown Atlanta.

The Federal Transit Administration announced a $750,000 grant for MARTA today that’s expected to put planning efforts into motion for equitable redevelopment of communities along MARTA’s future bus rapid transit line on Campbellton Road. The transit agency is working alongside City of Atlanta officials in the planning phase, according to MARTA.

The goal is to continue MARTA’s track record of success with transit-oriented developments in other parts of the city—and now east of town near Avondale Estates and Stone Mountain—but using bus transit instead of rail.

The FTA grant will help MARTA come up with a plan to implement recommendations in a TOD Master Plan for the Campbellton Corridor that was finished last year. It will also assist the agency in finding potential sources, both public and private, for funding development along the BRT line, officials said today.

Specifically, the FTA-funded analysis will aim to pinpoint “opportunities to address food insecurity, affordable housing, the unsheltered, economic development, education, greenspace, stormwater management, and transit accessibility,” according to a MARTA announcement.

Potential redesigns of MARTA's Oakland City station that came to light in 2022. Xmetrical

MARTA Rapid Campbellton, as the project is called, will be a six-mile, center-running BRT line that connects MARTA’s Oakland City station to a new Greenbriar transit hub, before ending at a Barge Road park-and-ride area. Earlier plans for light rail were scrapped; MARTA officials have said BRT can be installed three years faster than rail service and cost significantly less: $130 million to build (versus $340 million for light rail) and $4.8 million to operate annually (versus $12.5 million).

“We’ve been working on TOD planning along the Rapid Campbellton line because we know from past experience that development often happens before construction has begun,” Collie Greenwood, MARTA general manager and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We’ve developed a vision for the type of density and equitable development that will support transit along the Campbellton Corridor, and this FTA grant will help us create an implementation plan that will bring that vision into a reality.”

Potential development around Fort McPherson station could include (1.) mid-rise projects of four to five stories, (2.) an improved streetscape with dedicated bike lanes and other features, and (3.) urban-gridded blocks with connections to Tyler Perry Studios. Xmetrical

The six-mile BRT corridor in question, southwest of downtown Atlanta. Google Maps

Veronica Vanterpool, FTA acting administrator, said the funding will assist MARTA in creating affordable housing, reaching more patrons, and growing the economy. She added: “FTA has a simple message for communities across this country: if you are building good projects well, you will have the support of this administration.”

So far, MARTA has finished TOD projects at Edgewood/Candler Park, King Memorial, and Avondale rail hubs. A Kensington station TOD broke ground last fall, and this past weekend, an initial TOD plan at Indian Creek—MARTA’s easternmost station—was unveiled during a community celebration.

MARTA officials say the TOD planning process is continuing at Bankhead and H.E. Holmes station. Meanwhile, preliminary work continues on future BRT lines on the Clifton Corridor, Clayton Southlake, and Clayton SR54 routes.


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