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MARTA continues to progress through the alternative analysis. The goal of this process is to select a transit alternative that would be competitive for federal funding and meets the mobility, accessibility, and connectivity needs of the community.

Last Summer, the project team unveiled 10 alternatives with varying modes and routes. Following a robust public engagement and technical evaluation, the team narrowed the alternatives to 4 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes and introduced two alternatives that provides direct access to downtown Atlanta.

Presently, MARTA is narrowing the 6 BRT alternatives to one final route and mode based on land use, environmental benefits, cost effectiveness, reliability, mobility improvements, economic development potential, and the ability to reduce traffic congestion.


The results of the final narrowing, or “secondary analysis”, will be publicly announced this Summer where the community may provide their thoughts, feedback, and questions for the project team.

(Updated April 2024)


The South DeKalb Transit Initiative is a comprehensive effort to address current and anticipated needs for high-quality, dependable transit, creating reliable connections where people live, work, and play.​

MARTA, in coordination with DeKalb County, the City of Atlanta, and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), initiated the South DeKalb Transit Initiative Study to improve mobility and accessibility to jobs and housing by providing a high-capacity transit alternative in south DeKalb County. In addition, the project will support economic development and revitalization efforts in the corridor, making DeKalb County a more vibrant, affordable, and connected place to live.​


South DeKalb roadways are seeing more traffic, slower travel times, and more crashes at major intersections, making commutes unpredictable. And the community has voiced their concerns: there are not enough bike, pedestrian, and public transit options between residential and commercial centers within the corridor, forcing residents to solely rely on cars for everyday tasks. To address this, MARTA is exploring different transit mode options, including Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Heavy Rail Transit (HRT), along several different routes  to serve the current and future mobility needs of south DeKalb.

Transportation is key to connecting area residents to jobs and for the area's economic development. By 2050, population and employment in our study area are projected to increase by 33% and 25%, respectively. The study area includes portions of the Cities of Atlanta, Stonecrest, Lithonia, Decatur, and Avondale.  The study area is bound by Redan Road to the north, Downtown Atlanta near MARTA Five Points Station to the west, Rockdale County to the east, and SR 155/SR 212 to the south.

Public transit is key to connecting residents to jobs and for the area's long term economic growth. By 2050, population and employment in our study area, which includes portions of the Cities of Atlanta, Stonecrest, Lithonia, Decatur, and Avondale, are projected to increase by 33% and 25% respectively. Areas of significant growth are along Panola Road between Covington Highway and I-20, the intersection of Glenwood Road and Candler Road, and the Stonecrest Mall area. These largely residential communities are home to relatively affordable homes, making these neighborhoods attractive to daily commuters as only 7% of residents work in the area. At the same time, The Mall at Stonecrest is the largest commercial node in the study area and has enormous economic development potential, so much so that MARTA is developing a multi-modal transit hub adjacent to the mall set to open in 2026.

Alternatives Analyzed


The project team is evaluating a wide range of alternatives to provide high-capacity transit in south DeKalb, using a two-tiered screening process.

Initially, 10 alternatives were measured against a Tier 1 screening methodology that reflects the project goals and the variables the federal government uses to analyze funding-worthy infrastructure projects. The initial 10 alternatives are shown in this map. Weights were applied to each criteria based on input from the public and stakeholders.

Tier 1 Screening Criteria

Out of the initial 10 alternatives, the 4 BRT options performed better than the LRT and HRT alternatives using the Tier 1 Screening Criteria. Therefore, the project team is recommending that the 4 BRT alternatives go on to the next phase of screening. The team is also recommending the addition of a new alternative that provides a direct connection to Five Points Station based on feedback from public meeting participants.

Next, these five alternatives will be further evaluated using the Tier 2 Screening Criteria shown below. Similar to Tier 1, Tier 2 will address project goals, community input, and the factors used by the federal government to award funding to projects. During the Tier 2 process, the team will develop more detailed project cost estimates and ridership forecasts.

Tier 2 Screening Criteria

Contact the Project Manager

Tracie Roberson



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