Transportation in Georgia (U.S. state)

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Transportation in Georgia
Transit type Rapid transit, commuter rail, buses, private automobile, Taxicab, bicycle, pedestrian, ferries
Operator(s) GDOT

The transportation system of Georgia is a cooperation of complex systems of infrastructure comprising over 1,200 miles (1,900 km) of interstates and more than 120 airports and airbases serving a regional population of 59,425 people.



Mass Transit


MARTA is composed of both heavy rail rapid transit and a bus transit system that operates primarily within the boundaries of Fulton and DeKalb counties. In addition to Atlanta itself, the transit agency serves the following incorporated places within these two core counties: Alpharetta, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Clarkston, College Park, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, East Point, Fairburn, Hapeville, Lithonia, Palmetto, Pine Hill, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, Union City. Outside of the immediate service area, MARTA also serves the Airport Station and 7 miles (11 km) of rail that are located in Clayton County[1] and one bus route to Cobb County's Cumberland Boulevard Transfer Center.[2] MARTA formerly operated bus service to Farmers Market in Clayton County as well as Forest Park before the now-defunct C-TRAN took over operation in the mid-2000s.

Map of the MARTA rail system


Amtrak maintains two rail lines through Georgia,[3] Birmingham, Alabama to Greenville South Carolina travelling through Atlanta, Gainesville and Toccoa and another line running from Charleston, South Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida travelling through the two cities of Savannah and Jesup, Georgia.

Major freight railroads in Georgia include CSX and Norfolk Southern. Passenger service in Georgia is available on two Amtrak routes: the Crescent, which runs from New York to Washington, D.C., through north Georgia and Atlanta to New Orleans and the other runs from New York to the Georgia coast and from there to Florida.[4]

The River Street Streetcar is a heritage streetcar line in Savannah, Georgia. It began regular operation on February 11, 2009, and shuttles between 7 stops along River Street, next to the Savannah River.[5]

The BeltLine is a former railway corridor around the core of Atlanta, which is under development in stages as a multi-use trail. Using existing rail track easements, it aims to improve not only transportation, but to add green space and promote redevelopment.[citation needed] There are longer term visions for streetcar or light rail lines along all or part of the corridor.[citation needed]


Georgia lacks a united bus system and is instead, served by various separate systems that serve various areas of the state.

System Area Description
MARTA Atlanta MARTA's (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) bus system serves a wider area than the rail system, serving areas in Fulton and DeKalb counties such as the cities of Roswell and Alpharetta in North Fulton, along with South DeKalb. As of 2010, MARTA has 554 diesel and compressed natural gas buses that cover over 91 bus routes which operated 25.9 million annual vehicle miles (41.7 million kilometers).[6] Effective November 20, 2006, MARTA now has one bus route providing limited service in Cobb County (Route 12 has been extended to Cobb County's Cumberland Boulevard Transfer Center).[2][7] All of the MARTA bus lines feed into or intersect MARTA rail lines as well. MARTA shuttle service is available to Six Flags Over Georgia during the park's summer season.
CCT Cobb County Cobb County Transit
GCT Gwinnett County Gwinnett County Transit
C-TRAN Clayton County
CAT Savannah Chatham Area Transit is the provider of public transportation in the Savannah, Georgia metropolitan area. The county-owned service was founded in 1986 after the collapse of previous transit providers. Buses operate 7 days a week and 90% of county residents are within reasonable walking distance of a route.

Roads and freeways

Interstate highways

I-95 shield

The state of Georgia has 1,244 miles (2,002 km) of interstate highway within its borders. Georgia's major Interstate Highways are Interstate 16 (I-16), I-20, I-75, I-85, and I-95. Other important interstate highways are I-24 and I-59. I-285 is Atlanta, Georgia's perimeter route and I-575 connects counties in North Georgia to I-75.[8] The Georgia Department of Transportation maintains only 16 percent of the roads in the state. The other 84 percent are the responsibility of the counties and cities; 75 percent of those roads are county roads.[9]

All of Georgia's Interstate highways are as follows:

U.S. highways

U.S. Route 1 shield

The state of Georgia has an extensive system of U.S. highways.

All of Georgia's U.S. highways are as follows:

State routes

The state of Georgia has an extensive system of state routes.

Bridges and tunnels

Brick-lined interior of the W&A tunnel, now preserved as a walking trail, looking southeast
Sidney Lanier Bridge, April 2001.

The Sidney Lanier Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge that spans the Brunswick River in Brunswick, carrying four lanes of US 17/SR 25. The current bridge was built as a replacement to the original lift bridge which was twice struck by ships. It is currently the longest-spanning bridge in Georgia and is 480 feet (150 m) tall. It is also the seventy-sixth largest cable-stayed bridge in the world. It was named for poet Sidney Lanier. Each year (usually in February), there is the "Bridge Run" sponsored by Southeast Georgia Health System when the south side of the bridge is closed to traffic and people register to run (or walk) the bridge.

The Chetoogeta Mountain Tunnel refers to two different railroad tunnels passing through Chetoogeta Mountain in the northwestern part of the state.

The first tunnel was completed on May 7, 1850, as part of the construction of the Western and Atlantic Railroad (W & A), the first state road in Georgia. It was the first major railroad tunnel in the South and is 1,447 feet (441 m)[10] in length. It was renovated in 1998-2000 and is now open to the public as a privately owned historic site.[11]

The second tunnel was built from 1926 to 1928 and is 1,557 feet (475 m)[12]/≈0.3 mi or 475 meters long. It is still in use by CSX Transportation, under lease from the Georgia Department of Transportation.[10] It, like the entire W & A subdivision, is a major route between Atlanta and Chattanooga.

The nearby town of Tunnel Hill, Georgia (originally Tunnelsville) was created and named for the first tunnel, and was the supply base for its construction materials and worker housing.[11]

Personal transportation

Georgia has a system of State Bicycle Routes.[13]

The city of Atlanta limits the number of CPNCs (Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience) to 1,600 and is the maximum number of licensed taxis allowed within the city.[14]

Port Infrastructure

File:ATL airport interior.jpg
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport is the world's busiest



The Port of Savannah is a major U.S. seaport located at Savannah, Georgia. Its extensive facilities for oceangoing vessels line both sides of the Savannah River approximately 18 miles (29 km) from the Atlantic Ocean. Operated by the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), the Port of Savannah competes primarily with the Port of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina to the northeast, and the Port of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida to the south. The GPA operates one other Atlantic seaport in Georgia, the Port of Brunswick, located at Brunswick, Georgia, as well as two interior ports linked to the Gulf of Mexico, Port Bainbridge and Port Columbus.

The location of the Port of Savannah, GA

Between 2000 and 2005 alone, the Port of Savannah was the fastest-growing seaport in the United States, with a compounded annual growth rate of 16.5 percent (the national average is 9.7 percent).

Current, future and proposed projects

Georgia Rail Passenger Program

The Georgia Rail Passenger Program is a plan for seven railway commuter routes to serve the Atlanta suburbs and nearby cities.

The Athens route will connect nine of Georgia's colleges and universities, including Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Emory University, Georgia Gwinnett College, and the University of Georgia. Furthermore, the commuter rail will link the Centers for Disease Control, the new Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, as well as the emerging BioScience Corridor along Georgia State Route 316.

The route is estimated to divert 1.8 million drivers from the highways by 2025.[19] As many as 8,000 individuals or more could conceivably use the system every day, and it could remove 5,300 cars daily from already overtaxed roadways during peak travel times. Also, previous studies have indicated that commuter rail is 25 times safer than driving.

See also


  1. "Media Kit". Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "MARTA's Bus Route 12 will provide extended service to the Cumberland Mall area" (Press release). Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. November 20, 2006. Retrieved February 24, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Amtrak South Train Bus Stations
  4. Railroads, Accessed June 17, 2008
  5. "River Street Streetcar begins passenger service today". City of Savannah News. February 11, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report" (PDF). Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. June 30, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 29, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Route 12 - Howell Mill". Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Interstate Highway System, Accessed June 17, 2008
  9. Other Georgia Highways, Accessed June 17, 2008
  10. 10.0 10.1 Georgia Railway article-Chetoogeta Mountain Tunnel. Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage(, Retrieved 29 March 2011
  11. 11.0 11.1 Western & Atlantic Railroad Tunnel. Tunnel Hill Heritage Center, Retrieved 29 March 2011
  12. Tunnel Hill, Georgia, Retrieved 29 March 2011
  13. "Georgia Official Bicycle Map" (PDF). Georgia Department of Transportation. 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Taxicab facts - Atlanta
  15. Tharpe, Jim (January 4, 2007). "Atlanta airport still the "busiest": Hartsfield-Jackson nips Chicago's O'hare for second year in a row". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on January 6, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "ATL Fact Sheet", Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, retrieved Feb. 7, 2012
  17. "Delta Invites Customers to Improve Their Handicap with New Service to Hilton Head, Expanded Service to Myrtle Beach". Retrieved April 5, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Trubey, J. Scott (August 28, 2009). "AirTran spreading its wings in Atlanta as Delta refocuses – Atlanta Business Chronicle:". Retrieved April 5, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Finding of No Significant Impact - Athens to Atlanta Commuter Rail Project