Gwinnett Voters Vote Down Proposal to Join MARTA

MARTA
A southbound MARTA train operates in August 2013. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

Voters in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County have voted down a proposal to expand MARTA into their county.

A full 54.3 percent of voters cast ballots against the question.

According to WSB-AM, county leaders say they will bring the question to voters again — possibly as soon as next year. This election is the third time voters declined a proposal to expand the transit system into the county.

“We’ll be looking what our options are in terms of how we go forward,” the Gwinnett Daily post quoted County Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash as saying. “Transit is such an important issue. I still think we’ve got a good plan, we had a good contract so it’s a matter of looking at all of the options and making a decision about how we move forward.”

Residents in Clayton County, south of Atlanta, voted in November 2014 to join the transit agency. The transit agency originally included just Fulton and DeKalb counties.

South of Atlanta, MARTA is looking at running a passenger rail line from its East Point station to Jonesboro and Lovejoy south of Atlanta, according to a newspaper report. The 22-mile route would run along Norfolk Southern right-of-way.

Earlier this year, MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker said Atlanta needs a “moonshot for transit” to ensure metro Atlanta’s growth as a world-class region.

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