Georgia Department of Transportation and MARTA are considering constructing bus rapid transit stations and express lanes along Ga. 400.
Alpharetta City Council discussed the transit station and express lanes with GDOT and MARTA at a June 17 meeting.
The route would stretch 12 miles from Windward Parkway to the North Springs MARTA station, where it would meet the existing MARTA heavy rail. Potential station locations include Windward Parkway, Old Milton Parkway, North Point Mall, Holcomb Bridge Road and North Springs.
North Fulton currently only has 11 local bus routes, compared to south Fulton’s 22 bus routes. According to Fulton County’s Master Transit Plan, around 30 percent of Fulton residents use public transit for a majority of major trips. Around 6 million north Fulton residents use the MARTA rail annually, and 3.6 million use the buses annually.
The minimum wait time between buses is estimated to be around 10 minutes
The total cost of the bus transit project would be between $312 million to $414 million. Georgia’s former governor Nathan Deal dedicated $100 million to the project as an obligation bond, but the county is working with MARTA to find funding for the remaining costs. A possible federal source may provide an additional $100 million, but there would still be between $100 to $214 million needed, most likely from T-SPLOST.
For now, the bus rapid transit is still in the environmental review and conceptional design stages.
The proposed express lanes along 400 were proposed by GDOT. The Georgia 400 Mansell Road bridge will be widened to accommodate two express lanes in each direction, with a partial reconstruction of the ramps. Encore Parkway bridge will be retained and will not be reconstructed for express lanes. Hanes Bridge Road over 400 will also be retained and have partial ramp reconstruction.
Kimball Bridge Road over 400 will not have an express lane, but the bridge will be replaced to accommodate an at-grade bus rapid transit inline station south of Old Milton Parkway. The project will be funded by the Transit Bond.
Webb Bridge Road will also be replaced because the width does not currently allow for an express lane. The road is the recommend access point from an express lane to Alpharetta.
The proposed express lanes and transit station have not been finalized and are still in the early planning stages. A yes or no decision on the project will not be made until November 2020.