Three years ago lawmakers also created the regional transit authority, known informally as the ATL Board. The board oversees transit planning and funding in a 13-county area. Among other things, it’s charged with recommending projects for state funding.
It produced its first list of nine projects last year. Except for the Bankhead station renovation, none received funding. On Thursday it added 17 more projects to its list of priorities:
The list includes three new MARTA high-capacity transit lines: the Clifton Corridor light-rail line, the Campbellton Road line (which could be light rail or bus rapid transit) and a proposed bus rapid transit line in Clayton County. The list also includes MARTA station renovations and roofing repairs.
It includes proposed Cumberland and Marietta transfer centers in Cobb County and four Douglas County projects: commuter vanpool vehicles, fixed-route vehicles, paratransit vehicles and bus shelters/passenger amenities. It also includes a pilot program for on-demand transit service to supplement MARTA service for overnight workers in the area of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
The list includes five Gwinnett County projects: a Gwinnett Place transit center, buses for a new route between Georgia Gwinnett College and Snellville, a Buford/Suwanee on-demand transit zone, a Dacula/Lawrenceville on-demand transit zone and a commuter bus route to Athens.
Many details of the Athens route — including cost-sharing arrangements among various jurisdictions — must be determined. But it would run every 60 minutes on weekdays from the Chamblee station, stopping at various park-and-ride lots along I-85 and Ga. 316. Construction is expected to start in 2023.
A decision on which — if any — of the projects receive state funding is months away. Gov. Brian Kemp will propose a new budget in January, and the General Assembly will approve a final version in the spring.