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03 November 2017

MARTA Continues Community Outreach in Clayton County

Mass transit officials in Atlanta have expansion on their minds.

MARTA wants to add high capacity lines to existing bus service in Clayton County. This could mean that trains from the airport might travel further south to the cities of Jonesboro, Morrow or Riverdale.

Town halls seeking public input on future transit options are happening across the county, including a recent one at Clayton State University.

“We’re at a point where we’ve identified the number one corridor that we want to pursue,” Don Williams, the Director of Long Range Planning at MARTA, told residents in attendance. “This is your opportunity to say well, you got it right or you got it wrong.”

MARTA Continues Community Outreach in Clayton County

Local residents at this meeting seemed supportive of MARTA’s expansion plans. But they were slightly discouraged at the time it takes to get those trains rolling through their communities.

“Speeding up looks like speeding up is not happening,” said Brenda Harrison, “based on the fact that there are processes that MARTA says they have to go through to get federal funding. And that takes years.”

Harrison lives in Morrow and voted for the MARTA referendum in 2014. She believes more buses can help make Clayton more accessible while transportation leaders go through the slow process of securing money.

“We need to add more routes that accommodate community centers,” Harrison said. “There is no bus line that connects the citizens of Clayton County to International Park, which is a total activities center.”

MARTA officials welcomed the feedback they received from Harrison and others at the hearing.

“I am very very happy with the response we got from the community group,” Williams said. “The questions were indeed what we are looking for. Because until we know what’s going on and what they’re thinking about, we want to make sure, in terms of our planning effort, that it has the support of the community.”