The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) in the US has approved a $1.16bn plan to build the Clifton Corridor light rail, which will run between Avondale station, east of Decatur, and Lindbergh Center station in North Atlanta.
MARTA's board of directors have also agreed a $1.9bn plan for improvements along the I-20 east corridor, from the Indian Creek Station, running south parallel to I-285 and then east to the mall at Stonecrest in eastern DeKalb County.
The plan includes building 8.8 miles of light rail double track, including tunnels, elevated sections and ten platforms.
MARTA is planning to have stops at Lindbergh Center, Cheshire Bridge, Sage Hill CDC/Emory Point, Emory-Rollins, Emory-Clairmont, North Decatur, Suburban Plaza, DeKalb Medical Center and Avondale Station.
The project could get $700m in July if voters approve a regional sales tax that would pay for the line's first phase, from Lindbergh Station to the CDC/Emory area, while the remaining is expected to come from grants.
If the referendum fails, MARTA would have to secure funds through other means to finance the project.
Wesley Chapel Community Overlay Commission treasurer Ashton Carter was quoted by ajc.com, saying that tying the rail projects and bus projects in the same proposal could generate more support for the sales tax because its passage would help MARTA make a better case for federal grants.
The approval will allow MARTA to commence environmental and engineering studies, which could take several years before the authority seeks federal grants to build the rail projects.