Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative
The Clifton Corridor is home to over 30,000 employees and is the largest activity center in the metro Atlanta region with no direct access to a MARTA station or the interstate system. It is estimated close to 50,000 cars pass through the Corridor each day, overloading the two and four lane arterial roads leading into the area. In 1998, the Clifton Corridor Transportation Management Association (CCTMA) was formed to help mitigate congestion in the Corridor through various Transportation Demand Management (TDM) options including car and van pooling, public transportation, biking and walking. The CCTMA, one of seven TMA's in the Atlanta area, strongly encourages alternative work arrangements and its members include Emory University and its Hospital and Clinics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, the Veterans Medical Center & Regional Office, Wesley Woods Center, the Ben Franklin Academy, Emory Conference Center Hotel and the University Inn (Visit the CCTMA website for more info: www.cctma.org). Though the TDM options help to reduce single occupancy vehicles in the Corridor, a transit alternative is greatly needed and critical to the future of this thriving economic center of activity.
Corridor History & Studies to Date
While the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) first proposed a rapid transit line to the Clifton Corridor in their 1961 Atlanta Region Comprehensive Plan for Rapid Transit, a MARTA extension to the Corridor was not included in the expansion of their current system. In 2000, MARTA conducted a Major Investment Study of a rail line that would connect the Clifton Corridor to the Lindbergh station via a line through South DeKalb. Neighborhood opposition necessitated a revised plan to connect to Lindbergh via a different route to avoid impacting those areas. Subsequently, the "Inner Core" Transit Feasibility Study emerged and through federal appropriations secured through the support of members of the GA Congressional delegation, funding for this study was allocated in FY 2004 & FY2005. Through the ongoing efforts of the CCTMA, the Clifton Corridor Transit Feasibility and Connectivity Study was conducted which further supported the need for transit to serve the rapidly growing Corridor.
In 2008, the ARC's Transportation Planning Board approved a transit plan for the metro Atlanta region named "Concept 3", which included the Clifton Corridor rail line. MARTA and the CCTMA conducted the Clifton Corridor Alternatives Analysis in 2009, followed by the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA), both of which included over two years of extensive community outreach and input. The MARTA Board officially adopted the LPA in 2012, which encompasses a light rail line from the Lindbergh station, linking to the Clifton Corridor and ultimately extending to the Avondale station. Phase 1 of the rail line is a 4-mile segment to the Emory Campus.
Currently, MARTA, in conjunction with other regional partners including the CCTMA, is conducting the Environmental Review & Impact Statement, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. This study will assess various conditions in the Corridor including environmental analysis and mitigation, alignment and cost refinement, station locations/design and other potential impacts and will involve ongoing community outreach and public hearings. Throughout this study, simultaneous efforts to secure funding for the subsequent Preliminary Engineering and Final Design phases as well as construction and operating funds for completion of the rail line will be vigorously pursued. The anticipated timeline for completion of Phase 1 of the rail line to the Emory Campus is by 2025, if funding is available.
More detailed information on the Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative, including maps, fact sheets, details of previous studies and updates on the progress of the project, can be found on MARTA's website:www.itsmarta.com/Clifton-Corr.aspx. Updates, meeting announcements and other project-related information can also be found on Facebook.