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This Day In History: MARTA’s East Side Rapid Rail Line Opens

Workers installing ceiling forms, East line near Decatur Station; circa 1977
Workers installing ceiling forms, East line near Decatur Station; circa 1977
Credit Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center; Martin Stupich, photographer / Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

A conversation with associate professor of history Clifford Kuhn

Tuesday is June 30. If we were to turn Atlanta’s clock back 36 years to that date in 1979, we’d witness the grand opening of MARTA’s East side rapid rail line. 

The concept of introducing rapid transit in metro Atlanta had been debated off and on since the 1940s.  

In 1965, the Georgia General Assembly passed the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Act, and as Georgia State University associate professor of history Cliff Kuhn explained, the issue went before voters three years later.