Universities to conduct research on Sandy Springs

Sandy Springs will expand an existing partnership with Kennesaw State University for a new research program. AJC file photo
Sandy Springs will expand an existing partnership with Kennesaw State University for a new research program. AJC file photo

Sandy Springs agreed to partner with two universities that will separately study aspects of city services and operations. A Georgia Tech research team will study two MARTA bus routes in a transit efficiency project intended to improve service. And Sandy Springs will expand an existing partnership with Kennesaw State University for a new research program.

Sandy Springs accepted $75,000 in a matching grant on Tuesday for the Georgia Smart Communities Challenge, a Georgia Tech program The one-year project will focus on improvements to MARTA service on bus routes 5 and 87 using a transit signal priority system that indicates whether a bus is running behind schedule and measures traffic congestion, a statement said.

The total cost of the project is $93,750. The $75,000 grant to Sandy Springs will be administered through the Atlanta Regional Commission. Sandy Springs City Council agreed to match funds in the amount of $18,750, during the Tuesday meeting.

Separately, council members agreed to extend its collaboration with Kennesaw State University. Classes for the MBA program and business strategy in the Michael J. Coles College of Business are currently taught on the City Springs campus. The city will now become a laboratory of sorts for the university. Students and professors across the school will be able to study how the city manages its tax revenues as well as city operations and planning, Mayor Rusty Paul said.

“It will give us the option and opportunity to receive a tremendous amount of free consulting work and help us stay on the cutting edge,” Paul said.

Phaedra Corso, Kennesaw State’s vice president for research, said in statement, “We are pleased to expand our relationship with the city of Sandy Springs and look forward to creating mutually beneficial opportunities for our students, faculty and the members of the community.”