MARTA to upgrade busy Buford Highway route
A recent article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle detailing plans for MARTA to make some major changes to its busiest bus route in the metro Atlanta region….Buford Highway.
The plan calls for consolidating the number of stops on the highway, and help the bus move quicker through traffic. This would be awesome, considering right now the bus stops on every corner, and takes forever to get from one end (Lindbergh to Doraville) to the other. This would be called arterial rapid transit, and it is hoped to be in place by late 2024!!
Unlike bus rapid transit, buses on the route would still run in traffic alongside cars and other vehicles. But the new line could include “queue jumps” – small lanes at intersections for buses to cut ahead of other vehicles – and traffic signals prioritized for transit. The agency also plans to improve bus shelters by placing them near pedestrian crossings and adding seating, security cameras, lighting and real-time digital signs.
The 8.1-mile project coincides with a series of upgrades slated under the MARTA 2040 plan to catch up with the region’s steady population and job growth experienced over the past few decades. Since 2011, ridership has declined by 30% to 35%, according to the agency’s annual report.
Buford Highway is one dangerous place when it comes to being a pedestrian! With its earns its scarcity of crosswalks, forcing anyone walking to cross some seven lanes of traffic to get from one side to the other. There are many places along Buford Highway where the sidewalk is nothing more than a dirt trail, and you are literally inches from passing cars, that are passing a crazy speeds. Doraville is working with the Georgia Department of Transportation to construct more crossings and improve the corridor’s sidewalks under the Interstate 285 bridge.
The portion of Buford Highway flowing through Brookhaven, Chamblee and Doraville is a mecca of cultural diversity known for its international cuisine, grocery stores and shops. All three of these cities are experiencing an influx of new apartments and transit-adjacent projects, partly due to being some of the few suburban communities to boast their own MARTA rail stations.
The upgraded route for Buford Highway will continue to link the Doraville and Lindbergh rail stations. About 81% of the existing route’s riders connect to one of these two rail stations.