Cobb commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved a $445,000 contract with URS Corp. to study a bus circulator system that would serve the Cumberland area, including potentially moving Braves fans from parking at the Galleria Centre to the site of the new stadium.
The company will look at what type of vehicle would be used; how many vehicles would be purchased; the cost of annual operations; the route; and where stops should be.
The contract will be funded mostly with a federal transportation grant; the county will use about $90,000 in sales tax funds to cover its share.
Although the bus would drive on roads all over the Cumberland area, a major purpose for it would be to shuttle people to and from the new stadium. An idea the commission has talked about since November involves building a pedestrian-transit bridge over Interstate 285, connecting the stadium site with Galleria parking. The bus would travel over that bridge to and from the ballpark.
The bridge is a critical element to relieve congestion around the stadium on game days; provide enough parking; and get fans safely to the ballpark without walking along congested roads.
But The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday that it is now unclear if the bridge will be built.
Faye DeMassimo, director of the Cobb Department of Transportation, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday that the bridge might not be constructed, saying: “I don’t know that anything about it is definite at this point.”
An agreement negotiated between the county and the Braves, and obtained by the AJC last week through the state’s Open Records Act, says the bridge is “subject to best efforts to obtain funding for design and construction.”
DeMassimo later modified her statement, saying there is “a strong commitment on behalf of the county to accomplish this infrastructure.”
The circulator bus could operate without the bridge.