Regional & Local Leadership

All projects require strategic planning. For the Cumberland CID, partnering with various entities on studies is a vital step to help solve for mobility and connectivity issues in the region. These studies are usually identified in the CID’s Blueprint Cumberland and measure specific objectives. Explore some of the Cumberland CID’s selected studies and partnerships below. 

I-285 Top-End Express Lanes (GDOT Project)

As part of the ongoing efforts to deliver the best and most impactful, much-needed transportation infrastructure projects in Georgia, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) are working to deliver two, new, barrier-separated, dedicated express lanes in each direction across the northern half of I-285 from I-20 east and west (see map).

This project is a GDOT led initiative and is part of the Major Mobility Investment Program. The project will have a major impact on the Cumberland region and the Cumberland CID is a stakeholder on the project. 

Below is a visualization of the I-285 Top-End Express Lanes.

Project Status

Initially, GDOT submitted the Top-End Express Lanes project to the federal government for Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) review. The project was later pulled back by GDOT to revaluate the project, to enhance it further, and add the Public-Private Partnership (P3) delivery model for the I-285 Top-End Express Lanes. 

This revision would provide significant benefits to Georgia taxpayers, users of the I-285 Express Lanes system, local communities, and all travelers in the I-285 corridor.


Eastbound Entrance Ramp (study area)

Westbound Exit Ramp (study area)

I-285 Top-End Express Lane Access Ramps

As GDOT works to finalize the plans for the I-285 Top-End Express Lanes, the Cumberland CID is studying the possibility of adding additional access ramps to the I-285 Top-End Express Lanes. When GDOT first released the concept plans for the project, there were only two access points (one for each direction) in Cumberland. 

In 2021, the Cumberland CID Board approved a study to learn more about the possibility of adding access ramps on the eastern portion of the Cumberland District (see map for additional access points) into the I-285 Top-End Express Lanes.

Two potential areas were identified as possible access points. 1) An eastbound entrance ramp. 2) A westbound exit ramp. 

Project Status

Currently the study is in concept phase. For the study to move forward,  GDOT would need to approve and adopt the study. Revisions may or may not be made when GDOT releases their final plans. 


I-285 Top-End Transit

The latest 2020 census shows that Metro Atlanta counties make-up 50 percent of all population growth for the entire state over the past decade. GDOT has been planning for this growth with the I-285 Top-End Express Lanes. 

When GDOT announced the project of the I-285 Top-End Express Lanes project, a new idea was proposed. This project was brought forth by many partners listed in the partners’ section below. In 2018, a Transit Feasibility Study was conducted on the top-end of I-285, from the City of Tucker on the east side to the City of Smyrna on the west side (study map below). With much growth in these areas and increasing demand for access, I-285 has experienced strains on its roadway capacity. The Transit Feasibility Study in 2018, followed up by a Pre-Project Development Study in 2019, and a Station Area Plan in 2021 evaluated the feasibility of a rubber-wheeled transit system utilizing GDOT’s planned I-285 Top-End Express Lanes system. Overall, the studies found the project would provide much-needed transit service for east/west travelers and connect major destinations to a regional transit system. Transit stations identified and currently proposed from the studies are, from east to west, at:

• Northlake / La Vista, Doraville
• Shallowford Road / Georgetown
• Perimeter Center Parkway
• Roswell Road
• Cumberland Boulevard
• Cumberland Parkway

The latest study explores multiple station types, depending on the location. These include an off-line station, an access ramp station, and an in-line station. According to a feasibility analysis, a proposed I-285 Top-End Rapid Transit system was found to have competitive travel times for thirteen out of sixteen travel patterns between selected stations when compared to existing automobile travel times. As automobile travel times increase, the benefit of this transit system will improve.

Project Status

In May 2022, the partners below signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to officially kick-off the study. The study cost up to $16.2 million, with MARTA funding most of the study with Cobb and Gwinnett Counties.

Project Partners

  • City of Brookhaven
  • City of Chamblee
  • City of Dunwoody
  • City of Sandy Springs
  • City of Smyrna
  • City of Tucker
  • City of Doraville
  • Perimeter CIDs
  • Cumberland CID
  • Chamblee Doraville CID
  • Tucker Northlake CID
  • Atlanta Regional Commission
  • ATL Link
  • Cobb County 
  • Gwinnett County

News Clips for Study


Autonomous Shuttle

Autonomous Shuttle System Study

Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) are making increasingly large strides as technology develops and testing becomes more sophisticated. In addition, AVs have been identified as smart solutions for transit and offer potential solutions for the “last mile problem,” a transportation issue stemming from large distances between transit stations (CobbLinc Cumberland Transfer Station) and final destinations.

AV shuttles for the Cumberland Sweep will help connect people to their place of work and home and drastically reduce dependency on car-based travel and reduce carbon emissions. With the Sweep serving as a hub for transit options connecting to the CobbLinc Bus Transfer Station and several bus stops in the Cumberland area, AV shuttles will be a viable transportation options for those needing to connect to a transit source. 

In March 2022, Jacobs Engineering was retained to conduct a 12-month AV shuttle deployment study that aims to provide detailed assessment of the current state of practice for AV shuttle deployment. 

The AV shuttle deployment study is anticipated to be completed by March 2023, and a few of the proposed outcomes are listed below:

• Comprehensive understanding of current AV shuttle related regulations and technical aspects
• Assessment of AV shuttle connectivity and potential ridership
• A deployment plan that addresses financial options, implementation schedule, and procurement

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