MARTA rail would not expand into Gwinnett, an element of failed transit referendums in 2019 and 2020.
The proposal includes a network of transfer facilities throughout the county and recommendations for technology and infrastructure improvements. Staff and consultants spent 18 months devising the plan with a volunteer advisory board and community input.
Voters in 2020 narrowly rejected a penny sales tax that would have funded a $12 billion plan including rail. Ben Ku, the only current county commissioner who was in office while that proposal was being crafted, said he has pushed for Gwinnett transit to meet four criteria: simplicity, scalability, excitement and the ability to get anywhere in the county without a car. The new plan achieves all that and could put Gwinnett on the world stage for doing transit right in a heavily suburban area, Ku said.
“I can’t thank staff enough for the hard work and dedication, for creating something that is truly visionary,” he said.
District 3 Commissioner Jasper Watkins III praised the airport lines and the benefits to southern and southeastern Gwinnett, areas long thought of as overlooked. District 4 Commissioner Matthew Holtkamp said he was excited to expand microtransit.
The transit authority, known as the ATL, will review Gwinnett’s proposal for inclusion in its regional plan, a process estimated to take several months. County officials will then be able to decide whether to place a penny sales tax question on the November 2024 ballot to fund the plan.