City leaders, activists urge MARTA to pause Five Points station renovation to no avail

City and community leaders are once again calling on MARTA to reconsider its decision to proceed with renovations to its Five Points Station. 

The project has been the subject of a back-and-forth battle between MARTA and City Hall.

Mayor Dickens requested that the transit agency halt the intended closure, but MARTA said they planned to move ahead.

Five Points MARTA Station

In a press conference scheduled at the station on Tuesday, representatives from the Atlanta City Council, Propel ATL, Central Atlanta Progress, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District and MARTA Army voiced their concerns.

In addition to asking for a pause on the renovations, they also tried compromising by asking MARTA to keep pedestrian and bus access to the station during construction.

MARTA said it appreciated the differing viewpoints and would try to address the concerns of its passengers, but insisted that the project move forward "full steam ahead."

"Delaying this work is irresponsible and does nothing to alleviate the service impacts necessary for such complex deconstruction work," the agency said in a statement. "The time to do this work is now, not years from now when we will be left with no choice and potentially forced to close the entire station without the benefit of detour planning and communications."


After the press conference, Mayor Andre Dickens released a statement:

"I echo the frustrations expressed by Atlantans today over the proposed Five Points redevelopment plan. In addition to the serious concerns about accessibility and the potential closure of the station for four years, preliminary findings show MARTA may owe the citizens of Atlanta $70 million—or more. I stand by my call to pause construction activity until we can reassess and determine a better path forward."


The agency also provided FOX 5 with the following list of reasons they felt construction could not be halted:

  • Decades of water intrusion has weakened the concrete canopy and continues to damage the inside of the station and create hazards for customers.
  • The canopy deconstruction requires a complex support system on the concourse level and temporarily closing the street level is the only way to do the work safely and efficiently.
  • The deconstruction work is scheduled to take 18 months, not 4 years. The entire project is scheduled for 4 years, but street-level access will not be impacted that long.
  • We are investing millions in renovating the platform levels and hundreds of millions in new trains. It is irresponsible to not also address the deteriorating canopy and risk damage to these investments.
  • Because this project is funded through a combination of sources, delaying it impacts MARTA’s ability to secure federal funding for current and future transit expansion projects.