On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), DeKalb County and the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) will introduce the state’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) service during an event at Kensington Rail station in Decatur.
The new BRT service includes the Q Express (route 521) and Q Limited (route 520), which utilize advanced transportation technology to provide customers with a more convenient and efficient ride along the congested Memorial Drive corridor. Traffic Signal Priority gives Q buses the ability to hold a green light until they get through the intersection, and queue jumper lanes enable Q buses to pass lines of traffic in order to be the first vehicle through the intersection when the light changes.
Customers taking the Q Express will be quickly transported between a 150-car Park-and-Ride lot at Goldsmith Road & Memorial Drive and MARTA’s Kensington rail station, with only two stops along the way at North Hairston Road and Georgia Perimeter College. The Q Limited offers customers stops at four locations in addition to the Express route stops.
The project was made possible through a partnership between the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), GDOT, DeKalb County, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and MARTA.
The FTA, following the ARC’s allocation of flexible Federal Highway funds for this project, provided an 80 percent grant to implement the service and fund operations for three years. MARTA, GDOT and DeKalb County then worked together on planning, design and construction, with DeKalb County conducting significant work along the corridor to implement the traffic signal priority and queue jumper lane timing technologies.