Atlanta (North Line Extension)

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North Line Extension

Atlanta, Georgia

(November 1996)


The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is constructing a 1.9 mile, two-station extension of the North Line from just north of the Dunwoody Station to North Springs. The extension will connect with the North Line segment from Buckhead to Dunwoody, which opened for service in June 1996. The extension will serve the rapidly growing area north of Atlanta, including Perimeter Center and north Fulton County. The 1.9 mile extension and 28 rail vehicles are estimated to cost $490.6 million (escalated dollars). Daily ridership on the rail extension in the year 2005 is estimated at 33,000 riders, including 11,000 new riders.


Section 3035 (tt) of ISTEA required FTA to negotiate and sign a multi-year grant agreement for the North Line extension from Medical Center to North Springs.

FTA awarded $92.49 million for final design and construction of the segment from Medical Center through the Dunwoody Station in 1991 and 1992.

In December 1994, MARTA and FTA entered into a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) in the amount of $305.01 million (Section 5309 New Start funds) for the extension from Dunwoody through North Springs. Through FY 1997, Congress has appropriated $163.63 million in Section 5309 New Start funds for this project.

The original total estimated cost for this extension as reflected in the FFGA was $381.3 million and included the purchase of 28 rail vehicles. Due to changed conditions, recent scope enhancements and additional rail car requirements, the total project cost is currently estimated at $490.6 million. The expanded scope requirements are due to increases in estimated service levels, station parking enhancements, and rights-of-way impacts stemming from widening of the adjacent GA 400 freeway. As specified in the FFGA, any costs exceeding the $381.3 million cap are to be derived from non-Federal sources.

Source of Funds Total Funding
Appropriations to Date
Federal: Section 5309 New Start FFGA Amount $305.01 $163.63 million appropriated through FY 1997
Local: Regional Sales Tax $76.30 $38.40 million appropriated through FY 1997
*Total $381.31

*Note: Current cost estimate totals $490.60 million (escalated dollars). Terms of the FFGA state that cost increases are the responsibility of the grantee. Source of the additional $109.30 million to be determined by the grantee.

 Atlanta: North Line Extenstion Map. The extension will connect with the North Line segment from Buckhead to Dunwoody, connecting the existing Medical Center Station in the south to proposed Sandy Springs and North Springs Stations in the north.