Officials made a number of changes before again putting a proposal that would have levied a penny transit sales tax before voters.
Most notably, they limited MARTA’s involvement in the 2020 proposal. While a heavy rail MARTA line would have extended service from Doraville to Jimmy Carter Boulevard, the rest of the system would continue to be operated by Gwinnett County.
The 2020 plan also sped up the timeline for building out transit, after residents complained the 2019 proposal would take too long to implement. And it upgraded some lines and added others, increasing connections.
But for Dorothy Shaw, who lives in Snellville, the improvements didn’t go far enough.
Shaw, 86, said she’s in favor of transit. But the 10-year timeframe would take too long, she said, and she didn’t think the plan did enough to bring transit to her area. She voted against it, as she did in 2019.
“I just wanted it to be better,” Shaw said. “That’s the way I felt before.”
Nicole Love Hendrickson, the newly elected chairwoman of the Gwinnett County commission, has said transit remains a priority for the county. While Hendrickson said she does not have a concrete idea for what do do next, she said the commission will have to revisit mobility in the county.
“It’s going to be a huge challenge if that does not pass,” Hendrickson said of the transit referendum before the final votes were tallied.