The Georgia Department of Transportation recently signed an agreement with the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority and four metro Atlanta counties to advance multimodal, transit-based mobility options as part of the agency’s I-285 Express Lanes project.
[Above photo by the Georgia DOT]
The I-285 Express Lanes, part of Georgia DOT’s Major Mobility Investment Program or MMIP projects, will add two new barrier-separated lanes along the top end of I-285 in both directions from I-20 on the west to I-20 on the east. In addition, transit services and vanpools will have free access creating a significant opportunity for the advancement of Express Lanes Transit or ELT.
In June 2021, Georgia DOT announced updates to the project delivery model and scope for the express lanes projects along I-285. Under the previous plan, it planned to build only one barrier-separated express lane along the western and eastern walls of I-285.
The revised model allows the department to increase capacity with two, barrier-separated, dedicated express lanes in each direction along the entire northern half of I-285. This adjustment provides additional capacity and enhanced safety for motorists and transit vehicles.
Georgia DOT said a coalition of cities and community improvement districts along the northern segment of I-285 have championed the incorporation of ELT into the I-285 Express Lanes, where more than 240,000 vehicles travel every weekday. The express lanes should reduce congestion significantly across the region for motorists, the agency said, while also increasing on-time transit performance and accessibility.
“Georgia DOT is proud to unite with these important partners to truly advance multimodal solutions along I-285 with this ambitious plan,” said Russell McMurry, the agency’s commissioner, in a statement.
“Transit along the I-285 corridor has to be part of our solution,” he added. “This significant and historic opportunity for our region enables this crucial mobility expansion and Georgia DOT is eager to be part of the process.”