MARTA proposes route for new Clayton County rapid bus line

MARTA plans to build a 22-mile bus rapid transit line between East Point station and Lovejoy.

Credit: Courtesy of MARTA

Credit: Courtesy of MARTA

MARTA plans to build a 22-mile bus rapid transit line between East Point station and Lovejoy.

MARTA wants public input on a major new transit line in Clayton County.

The 22-mile Ga. 54 bus rapid transit line would stretch from East Point station to Lovejoy, via Jonesboro. It would serve destinations such as Fort Gillem, Clayton State University and Southlake Mall.

MARTA originally planned to build a commuter rail line along the route. But Norfolk Southern railroad would not allow MARTA to use its tracks. Now the transit agency has proposed a rapid bus route that snakes along local roads and highways.

Much of the route follows Ga. 54. But MARTA is evaluating alternatives for some sections of the route.

For example, the agency is studying ways to connect the route to the International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. And it’s studying various alignments to get buses to East Point station.

MARTA is studying alternative routes for its 22-mile Ga. 54 bus rapid transit line in Clayton County.

Credit: Courtesy of MARTA

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Credit: Courtesy of MARTA

MARTA will consider the potential for ridership and economic development as it chooses a final route. You can read more about the route alternatives and take a survey at

With the public feedback, MARTA plans to select a final route, plan station locations and determine other details. MARTA plans to begin service on the $572 million line in 2030.

Rapid bus lines are designed to mimic rail lines. The vehicles travel mostly in exclusive bus lanes and stop less frequently than regular local buses. Passengers board at stations with shelters, benches and real-time information about arrivals. They pay in advance to speed up the boarding process.

The Clayton State line is one of several rapid bus lines MARTA plans for metro Atlanta.

In Clayton County, MARTA also plans to build such a line from College Park station to Southlake Mall. The Federal Transit Administration already has given its approval to that line, making it eligible for federal funding.

MARTA recently broke ground on the Summerhill line in Atlanta, which would be the region’s first rapid bus line. It plans similar lines along Campbellton Road and the Clifton Corridor in Atlanta. Future lines could be coming to Ga. 400 and the top half of the Perimeter.