Atlanta is booming. Although it doesn’t get the hype of coastal cities, or the trendy cities like Austin or Nashville, Atlanta is quickly growing. Crime is way down from its peak, investment and migration to the city is up, and it’s even been the latest focal point about speculation about Amazon’s coveted HQ2. And of course, the music scene is thriving, both in large venues and small ones.
With the influx of people and investment though, Atlanta has found, as many American cities outside the Northeast, that their city’s large footprint, sparse transit options, and car dependency are holding them back. The Atlanta Regional Commission is taking steps to help the issue. They recently unveiled a $422 million regional transit investment plan.
The foundation of the plan would be to improve and expand bus service across the Atlanta metropolitan. There would also be investments in road improvement and bike lanes. Overall, the plan would bring improved transit across 92 projects in 15 counties in Atlanta.
While some might be disappointed that the plan doesn’t have any rail expansions, bus expansions have proven themselves out as cheaper, easier to implement options for a number of cities already, notably in Houston and Seattle.
“We can always use more money,” ARC Executive Director Doug Hooker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But with this injection of money, it’s a pretty significant investment.”
Most of the money is coming from various programs in the federal government, about $299 million, and the remainder is coming from either the state of Georgia or the municipalities and counties affected by the projects.
All this transit investment across the region can also lead to great things for Atlanta’s nightlife. It will help take cars off the road, including less reliance on ride sharing, which will relive the region’s choking traffic issues. And people will be able to more easily get to and from concerts, opening up the region’s nightlife for all residents.
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