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18 April 2018

Georgia approves regional transit authority for metro Atlanta

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
The US state of Georgia is to establish a regional transit governance and funding framework for metro Atlanta.

A new entity, called the Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority (ATL), will be created and charged with regional transit planning for 13 counties in metro Atlanta. By 2023, the region’s transit systems, including MARTA, CobbLinc, Gwinnett County Transit and GRTA’s Xpress service, will operate under the ATL brand name.

More than 60% of commuters in the region travel to a different county to work, and a regional transit solution has been a long-standing goal. In a 2017 Metro Atlanta poll, almost 95% of respondents identified improving public transit as important to the region’s future.

State Representative Kevin Tanner said: “Traffic congestion doesn’t stop at the city or county line. It’s a regional problem that requires a regional solution.”

According to Doug Hooker, executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission, the move will “expand transportation options and better connect communities, improving quality of life for metro Atlanta residents.”

The legislation will allow counties to seek a 1% sales tax increases for up to 30 years to finance construction and operation while providing flexibility and autonomy as each county which must ‘opt in’ to any specific project or funding mechanism. Within the state’s 2019 budget, $100 million has been earmarked to fund state-wide transit projects.

ITS International’s MaaS Market conference will take place in Atlanta on 9 and 10 May (see www.maas-market.com)

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