Atlanta Beltline advocates press case for transit

Advocates want Atlanta and MARTA to speed up the timeline for light rail along the Atlanta Beltline.
Advocates want Atlanta and MARTA to speed up the timeline for light rail along the Atlanta Beltline.

Advocates for transit along the Atlanta Beltline continue to press their case with local officials.

On Tuesday the group Beltline Rail Now delivered a petition with 10,000 signatures to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ office. The petition asks the mayor to make light rail on the Beltline a high priority.

In 2016 Atlanta voters approved a half-cent sales tax for transit expansion. MARTA plans to use part of that money to build 15 of the proposed 22 miles of light rail along the Beltline.

But last summer the MARTA Board approved a timeline that puts two bus rapid transit lines on the fast track, while pushing much of the new rail beyond 2035. Beltline Rail Now wants the entire rail loop completed by 2030.

“Mayor Bottoms, 20 or 30 years to realize the dream of Beltline rail is the same as saying we won’t do it,” the group wrote to the mayor. “You are the one who could change that.”

The petition is just the latest effort to press that case. Last summer the group threatened to stall development along the Beltline unless the city made transit a higher priority.

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