ATLANTA — Metro Atlanta’s year-old regional transit governing agency Friday adopted a $27.4 billion list of transit projects submitted by local governments and transit systems.

The ATL’s Regional Transit Plan includes 192 projects spread across 13 counties prioritized by criteria including the availability of federal funding to help build them and to what extent they would reduce traffic on Atlanta’s congested highways and increase access to jobs. The new agency will select projects from the list each year to recommend to the state for potential bond funding.

“This is a watershed moment for mobility in our region,” said Charlie Sutlive, The ATL’s board chairman. “The ARTP will allow The ATL to make data-driven, objective recommendations on critical transit projects for state and federal investment. This approach will allow the region to be more competitive for state and federal investment.”

The list is highlighted by the $1.9 billion Clifton Corridor light rail line, a project Emory University has pushed for years to improve mobility in one of the Atlanta region’s largest employment centers without nearby access either to MARTA or an interstate highway.

It also includes plans to connect existing MARTA rail lines with the Atlanta Beltline and a number of bus-rapid transit projects throughout the region’s core counties.

The General Assembly created The ATL last year to put under one roof planning for transit projects and efforts to fund them. For years, metro Atlanta has been plagued by a hodgepodge of transit agencies that failed to coordinate either their service or their relationships with funding agencies.

The ATL’s board has been working on the transit plan throughout this year. Local governments, transit agencies and self-taxing community improvement districts across the region submitted project requests during the summer, and consultants hired by The ATL ranked them. Those that had the most advanced plans for federal funding received high priority, as did projects likely to have the most impact on connectivity.

Although voters in Gwinnett County defeated a proposed penny sales tax for transit projects last March, the Connect Gwinnett plan the county adopted prior to that vote helped land Gwinnett the most projects on The ATL’s list.

“We believe the level of impact this $27 billion portfolio of projects provides will better prepare us to address the mobility challenges we’ll face with the additional 2.9 million people expected to descend on the Atlanta region in the coming years,” said Chris Tomlinson, The ATL’s executive director. “Moreover, our process of engaging citizens and key regional stakeholders gave us a greater understanding of how we can help improve mobility and promote seamless connectivity in their communities.”

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