This study, a Tier I Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), will investigate and assess transportation, environmental and planning issues for high speed ground transportation (HSGT) alternatives developed for the study.
The alternatives will include two technologies, six alignments along 110 miles, a variety of station locations, alternative operating plans and phased implementation. The study will also estimate ridership, capital and operating costs, revenue projections and economic impacts.
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires that the potential environmental impacts of an action be assessed for every federal action that could “significantly affect the quality of the human environment.” The law applies to any project where there is major federal involvement, including federal financial assistance, the issuance of permits, or a requirement for federal approval.
Transportation demand is outpacing existing and planned roadway capacity between Atlanta and Chattanooga. Not only is Georgia the country’s sixth fastest growing state, but the population for metropolitan Atlanta is projected to increase from 3.9 million to 7.8 million by 2030.
Currently, there are three major highways serving the corridor: I-75, US 41 and US 27. These highways are projected to operate at or above capacity in 2025. There is a need for additional capacity, but increasing vehicular capacity alone is not an appropriate strategy.
Benefits of HSGT
- HSGT would enhance airport access.
- HSGT would help address air quality issues in the area.
- HSGT would provide an alternative to driving in the corridor could result in potential energy savings from reduced vehicle travel.
- HSGT would not only help reduce roadway congestion in the corridor, but would also connect to existing and planned transit systems within the corridor, including MARTA, Cobb Transit and the Chattanooga transit systems.
- HSGT would help meet the transportation needs of transit-dependent populations
- Alternatives to driving would support comprehensive land use planning and smart growth initiatives by promoting intermodal connectivity, improved mobility, and economic activity.