Georgia Lawmakers Looking at Regional Transit Governance Structure

A MARTA train passes Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta in August 2014. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

ATLANTA — A proposed bill in the Georgia state legislature aims to improve the coordination, integration and efficiency of transit in the 13-county Metro Atlanta region.

House Bill 930 would create the s0-called Atlanta-region Transit Link — or the ATL. The regional transit governance structure would coordinate transit planning and funding and would oversee all Metro Atlanta transit activity, including planning, funding and operations.

This billwould also improve access to transit funding for the region from state and local sources, proponents say. The measure would preserve the current operational and funding autonomy of transit providers, such as MARTA.

“It is important that we understand the problem – that Atlanta is congested. We are talking about a quality of life issue and an economic development issue,” said Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville, said in a news release. “This region is adding 100,000 people every single year – that’s 1 million people every single decade. We cannot continue to grow within this region when we have companies telling us that they will not locate in an area that does not have mobility services offered to their employees. Transit is a regional problem, and it demands a regional solution. We cannot continue to address transit within silos.”

HB 930 is a product of the House Commission on Transit Governance and Funding, which was established by House Resolution 848 to study Georgia’s transit needs and analyze ways for the state to plan and provide for those needs.

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