by Robin Kemp

The bus maintenance and management facility promised to Clayton County is slated to be built in Forest Park on Old Dixie Road, according to a report The Clayton Crescent obtained from MARTA.

An environmental impact statement that is required as part of the 31-acre project indicates the facility will go up at 5163 and 5265 Old Dixie Highway, including the warehouse on the site of the old K-Mart Distribution Center.

According to the document, the facility will “support 31 regional bus routes, 250+ buses, and 50 paratransit vehicles. The site will include a MARTA Police Precinct, training areas, bus maintenance, transit operations office, administration office, bus fueling point, bus inspection, repair facilities, cleaning facilities, bus parking and employee parking….The final site plan configuration has not yet been chosen.”

MARTA said the facility “is being thoughtfully designed to accommodate a variety of purposes” as part of the MARTA Charter 14th Amendment.

“The location of the facility has been carefully chosen to gain operational efficiencies and deadhead (empty bus run) reduction in the MARTA service area,” according to the document, and “will provide a location for the Clayton County MARTA Police precinct and will provide additional jobs and bus related training to Clayton County.”

The site’s current tenants will need to be relocated, and the existing structures demolished, and site grading, drainage, and stormwater retention structures would have to be added.

map of historic or potential historic sites surrounding proposed MARTA maintenance facility on Old Dixie Highway in Forest Park, GA

Stakeholders included the Citizens Advisory Group, Stakeholder Advisory Committee, and Technical Advisory Committee.

An archaeological survey of the area found 18 historic or potentially structures adjacent to and within view of the proposed project, which is across from the historic Rosetown neighborhood, including a day care in a house built in 1940 and a 99-year-old home on Fourth Street, as well as the Water Oak Village Apartments and the Town and Country Mobile Home Park.

Read details and see site impacts and diagrams in this document:

MARTA is scheduled to make a presentation on the project at Tuesday night’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

A MARTA spokesperson said the real estate transaction is pending.

MARTA also announced “its first-ever Riders’ Advisory Council (RAC), an all-volunteer group providing feedback on improving the overall transit experience for customers.”

Each of the 24 members serves two years and does not represent any specific area, but come from Clayton, Dekalb, Fulton, and the City of Atlanta service areas. Some members serve at-large. No contractors, MARTA employees, or elected officials are eligible to serve.

The group offers feedback on “potential customer impacts of projects such as realignment of MARTA’s bus network, station enhancements, design of new railcars, customer communications and the rollout of digital signage.” The group meets monthly with MARTA Chief Customer Experience Officer Rhonda N. Allen.

In a press release, MARTA said that “RAC applicants expressed their keen interest in promoting transit and finalists were selected based on criteria including ridership habits, commuting experiences, and community involvement. The RAC’s composition intentionally reflects the demographic diversity of the region’s fast-growing population.”

Members include:

  • Hasan Al-Bari – Atlanta
  • Susan Brazeal – Fulton
  • Dianne Bryant – Atlanta
  • Carla Cooper – Clayton
  • Maya Cross – DeKalb
  • Lloyd Dotson – Fulton
  • Diandra Evans – Atlanta
  • Bridgette Gist – Fulton
  • Millicent Goodwin – Clayton
  • Brenda Harrison – Clayton
  • Daniel Harrold – DeKalb
  • Wendy Heaps – DeKalb
  • Shekita James – Fulton
  • Akia Lewis – Atlanta
  • Khari Lewis – Clayton
  • Talia Lockridge – DeKalb
  • Lecia Miller – DeKalb
  • Michael Moore – Atlanta
  • Joshua Propp – Atlanta
  • Brendan Ullman – Atlanta
  • Laura Viilo – Atlanta
  • Jessica Wang – DeKalb
  • Carol White – Atlanta (Clayton State University professor)
  • Carden Wyckoff – Atlanta