DeKalb County

New MARTA technology will turn lights green for buses to relieve traffic

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Officials hope new technology will bring relief to thousands of MARTA riders and drivers by making red lights faster..

Next month, crews in DeKalb County will start installing new equipment at traffic signals that will turn the lights green when a MARTA bus approaches.

Channel 2's Sophia Choi was on Cascade Road, one of the busiest bus routes in metro Atlanta, to learn how the new technology works.

Officials say the system is already in use on Buford Highway and really does work to keep traffic moving. The equipment automatically extends green lights for MARTA rapid transit buses or turns them green quicker.

The first wave of the new technology was installed when the I-85 bridge collapsed from a fire in March 2017. Many drivers were forced to detour through Buford Highway -- and MARTA also added more buses on the road during that time.

"It was a good test for our system," said Peggy Allen, the DeKalb Public Works director. "The system was working. We were not only getting vehicles through faster, but the MARTA buses through faster. So it helped us move traffic during that critical period."


Officials say the technology will also keep traffic moving on Candler Road, the seventth busiest bus cooridor for MARTA, which some 3,000 people ride every day.

Choi talked to bus rider Brittany Chandler, who was looking forward to the changes.

"I'd love to be on time," Chandler said "(It would be) a lot better."

DeKalb County is spending $500,000 in federal funds to install the system. Crews will start working on the traffic signals on Candler Road next month. The system will go live in November.