“Let’s be clear. The fight to get to today was significant,” said Robbie Ashe, chair of the MARTA board. “But when we actually start tearing up streets and turning dirt, I don’t think that’s going to be champagne and roses either.”
Cheers and boos met the MARTA board members after they unanimously approved the expansion plans. The plan has not been without controversy. Some people are still upset that certain projects didn’t make the final cut, like a rail line to the Westside.
Ashe said that shows how much the city has changed.
“Over the decades there have been fights to keep transit out of pieces of the region. We’re no longer having that fight,” he said. “Now the fight is, why isn’t transit in my community and why isn’t it there soon enough?”
Now, MARTA just has to figure out which ones to work on first. Jeffrey Parker, MARTA general manager and CEO, said he expects to present that priority list to the board in about two months. After that, then they will conduct the studies to determine just when each project will be completed.
Editor’s Note: The vote took place Thursday, this report has been updated to reflect that.