Atlanta Region Transit Plan 2020 Update

CLIENT: Atlanta-region Transit Link (ATL) Authority

Purpose of Project

The Atlanta-region Transit Link (ATL) Authority is the Atlanta region’s transit planning and transit funding body established in 2018. The ATL’s primary goal is to enhance transit connectivity and expand transit options across the 13-county region encompassing Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding, and Rockdale counties.

The Atlanta Region Transit Plan (ARTP) is one of four key steps in the regional planning process for advancing transit projects, as follows:
 

  • Step 1: Local or Operator Transit Plans or Projects;

  • Step 2: Atlanta Region Transit Plan;

  • Step 3: Regional Transportation Plan; and

  • Step 4: Transportation Improvement Program.
     

The first ARTP was developed in 2019 and was subsequently updated in 2020 by MMP, as part of a team.  The ARTP 2020 Update synthesized local transit plans and projects from across the 13-county Atlanta region over the next 30 years and evaluated those projects seeking federal or state discretionary funding. The ATL's role was to distill those high-performing proposed transit projects and advance them from conception to funding as part of short-term (6-year) and long-range (20-year) priority lists and to recommend certain eligible projects for state bond funding.

Our Role on the Project

The ARTP included both a project-level and plan-level performance-based framework, which MMP assisted with updating as part of the 2020 Update based on lessons learned from the 2019 inaugural plan.  The project-level framework was comprised of three evaluation methods:

  • Regional Significance Analysis: determined whether the project provided a broad, substantial impact for the region;

  • Relative Cost-to-Impact Analysis: determined the project’s cost effectiveness or whether its impact outweighed its cost; and

  • Governing Principles Alignment: determined whether the project meaningfully advanced the ATL’s Governing Principles (economic development, environmental sustainability, equity, mobility, innovation, and return on investment) and to what extent.

Problem Solvers

Unique challenges of this plan included developing a comprehensive project evaluation framework with limited data. Our solution included a multi-prong approach, developing several evaluation criteria including regional significance, cost effectiveness, and return on investment.  The information collected and analyzed allowed ATL to review projects and not only determine appropriate timeframes for implementation but identify the most competitive projects for future state funding.

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What Our Clients Say About Us

“MMP was a critical part of our team for the update of our regional transit plan.  Their technical capacity, organizational skills, and commitment to delivering quality work on time and within budget ensured our team met our goals.  And they are also fun to work with!”

- Cain Williamson, Chief Planning Officer, ATL