October 27, 2023


ATLANTA – The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has secured $1.75 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to stand up a transit and transit-oriented development (TOD) accelerator to close capital funding gaps for projects across the region.

MARTA’s primary source of funding is the sales tax revenue collected in Fulton, DeKalb, and Clayton counties and the City of Atlanta. Combined with fare revenue and federal funding, these sources allow MARTA to operate and maintain its current system, but additional funding is necessary to meet all the transit expansion needs of the growing region. The City of Atlanta levied an additional half-penny in 2016, which is projected to generate $3 billion, and while that amount is sufficient for the planned projects, it is far short of the overall investments that other cities such as Los Angeles ($120 billion) and Seattle ($54 billion) are making in their transit system expansion programs.

With this grant, MARTA plans to work in partnership with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to explore and validate that the property value increase resulting from transit investment can finance a project. Access to such new revenue will potentially unlock additional public-private partnerships and the ability to secure Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans. 

“From Georgia 400 bus rapid transit to Roosevelt Highway and rail infill stations in between, the transit needs of this region are far greater than our current funding model supports,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Collie Greenwood. “I’m thrilled that MARTA will be able to form a dedicated team to work alongside the traditional funding teams to coordinate with regional partners and USDOT to solve funding gaps for transit and TOD projects.”

“I’m pleased to announce this investment in transit for Metro Atlanta through the bipartisan infrastructure law. The bipartisan infrastructure law is continuing to invest in Georgia’s infrastructure and developing new public transit options for families across the state,” Sen. Jon Ossoff said.

“This latest federal grant for MARTA reflects the good we can accomplish when we center the people in policymaking,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “I was proud to champion this investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will help spur economic development and make Atlanta an even more interconnected region, all while reducing the city’s carbon footprint. I will continue working to secure federal investments that help improve mobility and bring Georgians closer together.”

“Transportation equity and federal investments in mass transit have been one of the cornerstones of my career in Congress,” said Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04), a senior member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. “And that’s meant being a reliable and unwavering supporter of MARTA, who has shown remarkable fiscal stewardship, as evidenced by its AAA bond rating. I’m pleased I could help secure this accelerator grant, and I look forward to seeing projects that support economic development, and promote mobility, connectivity, and affordability.”

Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) said, “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to deliver for the people of Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District. I am proud to partner with MARTA at every opportunity so we can deliver on transportation equity. I helped secure this grant for MARTA to accelerate its growth connecting people to housing, jobs, and opportunities throughout the region for everyone–no matter your ZIP code, no matter your bank account.”

“Once again, the historic federal investments made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are delivering results to the Metro Atlanta region,” said Rep. Lucy McBath. “MARTA is working hard to deliver quality transit combined with robust transit-oriented development to build stronger communities. This funding will ultimately enhance access to affordable housing and good-paying jobs while propelling economic mobility for my constituents. I was proud to support MARTA’s grant application and champion the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. I look forward to seeing our community reap the benefits of this federal award.”

This accelerator will help MARTA build on its strong track record of innovative solutions to funding gaps such as its public-private partnerships with Morgan Stanley (press release) and Goldman Sachs (press release) in providing affordable housing near transit. Similarly, the accelerator will seek other capital partnerships and funding sources to support TOD.

As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and administered by the Build America Bureau, the Regional Infrastructure Accelerators (RIA) Program aims to accelerate project delivery and clear barriers for credit-worthy projects by funding and encouraging best practices.



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