A win — at least for now — for Five Points

Four weeks ago, our coalition of local leaders, mobility advocates, and transit activists launched a campaign to keep the Five Points MARTA station open to people walking, using wheelchairs and mobility devices, and riding the bus during MARTA's Five Points transformation project. 

MARTA's construction plan would have posed a significant threat to the utility of our transit system’s central hub, with potential shutdowns lasting anywhere from 1-and-a-half to 4 years. This would have disproportionately impacted Black and Brown Atlantans, low-income riders, and people with disabilities, along with everyone who relies on transit in our region. 

Today, we received some good news: MARTA announced it will pause the project, four weeks after our coalition's letter and three weeks following Mayor Dickens’ request to wait for the audit of the More MARTA funding program to be completed. 

This is a win – albeit temporary – for accessibility, for transit riders, and for our city’s commitment to sustainable transportation! 

Photo: Rahul Bali/WABE

It wouldn’t have happened without the 800+ of you who signed the petition, the Five Points Coalition, the support of the Atlanta City Council, and extensive media coverage. 

However, this victory simply preserves for now what we have today: walkup and elevator access to all levels of the Five Points station. The roof still needs repairs, and the overall level of transit service in our region remains less frequent, less reliable, and less accessible than what riders really need. 

As MARTA moves forward with any future plans for Five Points, it is crucial that improved accessibility features, including elevators serving all levels of the station, are included. The next round of planning must genuinely incorporate community input from the beginning to better serve the needs of all transit riders.

This win underscores the incredible power of community action. When we come together, raise our voices, and fight for what is right, we can achieve remarkable results. The strength of our community has made this possible, proving that collective effort can bring about meaningful change. 

Coalition members:

New Disabled South, Atlanta Downtown Neighborhood Association, Propel ATL, Georgia STAND-UP, Georgia Conservation Voters, MARTA Army, Georgia Sierra Club, ThreadATL, Atlanta Bike Grid, TransFormation Alliance, Candler Park Neighborhood Organization, Carver Market, and Focused Community Strategies

So while we celebrate this win, we know the work is far from over. Propel ATL has spent the last few months canvassing transit riders about their needs and priorities, and their ideas will help guide our coalition's next campaign. 

What issue do you think the coalition should focus on next?

  • Rebecca Serna
    published this page in News 2024-07-05 16:33:30 -0400