Atlanta (Athens Corridor)
Section 3035(rr) of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) directed the Federal Transit Administration to enter into a multiyear grant with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) to study the feasibility of commuter rail in a 70-mile corridor eastward from downtown Atlanta to Greensboro, Georgia.
To date, no funds have been appropriated for this study. However, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) completed in late 1995 a comprehensive study of 12 potential commuter rail corridors around the City of Atlanta. The GDOT study concluded that the Atlanta- Greensboro corridor was feasible for commuter rail service as far as Madison, Georgia, but that other lines were more feasible and should be implemented as part of the first phase of a two-phase implementation program. The Atlanta-Madison Corridor is recommended for Phase II.
Commuter rail service between Atlanta and Athens, Georgia was recommended for immediate implementation through Phase I. ARC has expressed interest in moving forward on the Atlanta-Athens line. The 1995 Georgia General Assembly has allocated $50,000 in 1996 funds to begin the implementation of the Athens line.
The capital costs for the Atlanta-Athens line were estimated at $108 million (1994), with $53 million in rail corridor improvements and $55 million for rolling stock. Daily work trips on the line were estimated at 8,900 riders per day for the year 2010. Farebox recovery would exceed 60 percent.