ATLANTA — The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority’s (MARTA) could soon approve a passenger rail line from its East Point station to Jonesboro and Lovejoy south of Atlanta, according to a newspaper report.
The 22-mile line would run along Norfolk Southern right-of-way, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“This is a new day in terms of services we can provide,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted MARTA General Manager Jeffrey Parker as saying. “It builds upon the good things we already have.”
A line between Atlanta and Lovejoy has been discussed for at least 14 years. Four years ago, voters in Clayton County agreed to join MARTA, opting to pay a penny sales tax for transit service.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, the MARTA Board of Directors unanimously approved the More MARTA Atlanta. The program, partially funded by approximately $2.7 billion generated by a half-penny sales tax approved by city voters in 2016, represents the region’s largest transit investment in more than four decades, officials said.
“In Atlanta in the 21st century, transit is the lifeblood of opportunity,” MARTA Board Chairman Robert L. Ashe said in a news release. “It is how millions of Atlantans access jobs, school, health care, and move throughout their communities. Today, we together took an important step in building the Atlanta we want for decades to come.”
Officials said they plan on soliciting additional public and private funding to expand key aspects of the program.