Rail Service - Commuter Rail Transit (CRT)
Commuter Rail Transit, from Downtown Atlanta and through to the northeastern boarders of the county, would provide lower service than Heavy Rail, but still serve both locals' and commuters' needs in historic railroad towns that are somewhat separated from the main density corridor as spokes from the central city.
In 2006, GDOT was ready to begin construction of the first leg of what was to be a metro-wide commuter rail network, and eventually a state-wide intercity rail network. Unfortunately, state politics kept the initial line, and by extension the rest of the system, from ever being built.
In 2014, Clayton County joined MARTA, with the promise of some kind of high-capacity transit service. Though MARTA is studying multiple technologies, it is most likely that the eventual plan will be to build the region's first commuter rail line from East Point MARTA station to Lovejoy. This line will establish the precedence for future commuter rail lines in the region.
The vision for Gwinnett calls for two routes, following original GDOT planned lines, to be built, with stops in historic railroad towns and at regionally significant locations. Though commuter rail tends to be more rush-hour oriented, it is possible that commuter rail could be designed as a higher frequency service similar to heavy rail, providing bi-directional trains for people to move between each town all day.
Additionally, MARTA commuter rail lines would be open to other passenger services, such as Amtrak or other regional trains. This would allow for passenger trains to use tracks completely separate from the freight rail network, where such separate track is built.