BRT will change the face of Clayton County

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority wants your input on bus rapid transit coming to GA Highway 54, (also known as State Route 54, also known partly as Jonesboro Road), one of Clayton County’s busiest thoroughfares linking Clayton and Fulton Counties.

On Monday, June 26, MARTA will host an in-person public meeting at the Morrow Center, which is at Southlake Mall near the MARTA bus station. If that day and time doesn’t work for you, or if you can’t get there, MARTA also will hold an online meeting on Tuesday, June 27, at 10:30 a.m. and 6: 30 p.m. You can sign up for any of these meetings at to let MARTA representatives know what you think about the plusses and minuses of the BRT line and how it can best serve you.

Where will the BRT go?

What MARTA has in mind is a 24-mile-long BRT route from the East Point MARTA Rail Station to Lovejoy, almost at Henry County’s doorstep. Part of the way, the BRT will travel in its own dedicated lane. In other parts, the BRT would be “operating in mixed traffic.”

This map from MARTA shows the proposed segments where the BRT would run. MARTA is evaluating how best to provide BRT service betweeen Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Old Dixie Highway, as well as around the Harold R. Banke Justice Center:

Follow the money

But the BRT line is more than just a consolation prize for lack of commuter rail. It’s the spine of a massive effort to redevelop some of Clayton County’s less-flashy shopping and real estate. While that could mean higher rents, it also means jobs—and most of all, it means that people behind the scenes will be cutting deals with MARTA, with other businesses, and most certainly with elected and appointed officials, both in the county and in the municipalities to make Clayton County look a lot more like more upscale parts of metro Atlanta:

Here is a copy of a report that explains how transit-oriented development (TOD)—mixed-use developments with retail downstairs and apartments or condos upstairs —is likely to happen in Riverdale, around Southern Regional Medical Center:

Here’s how transit-oriented development (TOD) might change Forest Park, which also is the site of MARTA’s massive new bus barn coming to Old Dixie Highway:

And here’s what College Park might look like as a result of BRT and related transit-oriented development:

The best way to offer input on the BRT line itself is to show up at one of the meetings next week, whether in person or online.

You can learn more about the proposed BRT route and related plans by visiting

You also can contact members of the Clayton MARTA Citizens Advisory Board.

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