MARTA is planning a major renovation project for its two busiest stations.
“Two major stations that are key are Five Points and the Airport stations. We’re going to do a complete overhaul of those stations,” General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker said.
Parker spoke on those previously announced projects and more during the quarterly update he gave to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners at its Feb. 19 recess meeting at Assembly Hall in downtown Atlanta. He said with the project for Five Points, also located downtown, the city of Atlanta has asked MARTA to reopen Broad Street, which goes through the street-level part of that station.
“There are some technical issues with that,” Parker said. “We want to make sure whatever we do is to improve bus circulation in that area. Below ground we’ll be rehabilitating the worn parts of the station, making them much warmer.”
He said both projects will undergo a two- to three-year construction process and are currently in the design phase. Parker added the Airport Station project will include exterior changes to match recent renovations to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
In an email after the meeting in response to the Neighbor’s questions about the projects, MARTA spokeswoman Stephany Fisher provided additional information on each one.
“Airport Station will get a complete renovation of the concourse level and boarding platform area,” she said. “All floors, walls and ceiling finishes will be replaced along with a newly designed rideshare store, complete refurbishment of vestibules, employee restroom and break rooms. A second elevator will be added and the existing one will be completely renovated. The platform will get all new furnishings, floor finishes and a new tactile edge. The station canopy will also be replaced with a more contemporary design that allows natural light to filter through with complementing LED lights.
“At Five Points, we are studying the feasibility of removing the canopy over the station and creating headhouses for accessing the station. As part of the deconstruction, we are also exploring the ability to drop columns for future transit-oriented development over the station area. The study also includes the potential of reconnection of the city street network through the station area. The project must meet a delivery date prior to the start of the World Cup in 2026 and be within the established budget to proceed. It is expected that the go/no-go decision will be made by the end of this year.”
Fisher also said MARTA hasn’t released the estimated costs for both projects but added they will be funded by the transit organization’s existing capital programs budget, and that the Five Points transformation will also be funded by the city of Atlanta’s More MARTA half-penny sales tax.
Parker also said through MARTA’s capital investment program, the stations that are between 20 and 40 years old that haven’t already been redeveloped will be.
He thanked the board for approving at its Jan. 22 meeting MARTA’s 15th Amendment, which allows for its 1% sales tax to be extended in Fulton and other service areas through 2057.
In addition to providing an update on MARTA’s planned bus-rapid transit projects along South Fulton Parkway and Georgia 400, he also talked about the transit authority’s decision to add up to 1,000 shelters to its nearly 10,000 bus stops.
“We have recently installed five (new) shelters (in Fulton). There are 15 more under construction, 42 more shelters will be installed this year,” Parker said of a partnership with the Georgia Department of Transportation, adding 57 of the shelters are in Fulton but outside the city of Atlanta. “… We think that’s important. In areas outside Fulton County, about two thirds of the boarders will have shelters with amenities.”
District 6 Commissioner Joe Carn said he’s worried about the amount of litter in and around the bus shelters in south Fulton.
“I’m hoping you’ll talk to the contractor about stepping up (efforts),” he said. “They’re supposed to keep the areas clean. … I’m hoping there will be a real commitment to clean up around these shelters.”
In response Parker said, “We are scheduling some conversations with the media (advertising) company Outfront and we’ll be re-advertising that contract this year and going through a competitive process and possibly go with a new vendor or stick with Outfront. It’s really a brand image for MARTA and the area around it.”