MARTA to discuss Emory-area transit option at Decatur Book Fest

Credit: Andria Brooks

Credit: Andria Brooks

If you're heading to the Decatur Book Festival this weekend, take a few moments to learn more about how MARTA is laying the groundwork to expand transit in the area.

MARTA staff will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Decatur Station to provide the public with information about the transit agency's plans for the "Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative." The project would involve building a light rail (like a tram or streetcar) through the corridor between the Lindbergh and Avondale MARTA Stations. The line would provide a connection to regional job centers like Emory University, Emory Hospital, the Centers for Disease Control, Children’s Healthcare and Veteran’s Administration Hospital.

The project is just a dream right now - and an expensive one at that. It is projected to cost between $1 billion and $2 billion, and there's no money available for to build or operate it. MARTA's chairman Robbie Ashe has said the agency will lobby state lawmakers in the 2016 session to approve a ballot referendum that could be a game-changer, though. It would let voters in counties that already collect a one percent sales tax for MARTA to contribute an additional half-percent.

That extra half-penny tax would fund the Clifton Corridor, Ashe said. It would also pay for proposed expansions of the MARTA heavy rail line north to Windward Parkway in Alpharetta and east to Stonecrest Mall.

For information on the project and a schedule of upcoming activities, visit