Gwinnett hires firm for new transit study

Gwinnett commissioners recently hired Foursquare Integrated Transportation Planning to work with the county on a new transit plan for $1.5 million. (Courtesy Gwinnett County)

caption arrowCaption
Gwinnett commissioners recently hired Foursquare Integrated Transportation Planning to work with the county on a new transit plan for $1.5 million. (Courtesy Gwinnett County)

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners recently hired Foursquare Integrated Transportation Planning, a firm based in Washington, D.C., to help create a new transit development plan in response to the failed 2020 referendum that included MARTA.

The company will work with the county’s transportation department to look at existing conditions and identify transit needs and opportunities. The study will take about 18 months to complete, according to the county.

“The team brings a fresh new perspective with national experience and local passion for a new transit plan,” Gwinnett Department of Transportation Director Lewis Cooksey said in the release.

ExploreGwinnett leaders rethink public transit after MARTA rejection

The plan will focus on strategies to move Gwinnett’s bus-based transit system forward, Cooksey told commissioners last week during a work session. Foursquare and the county will analyze and receive public input to develop the study, he said.

The plan’s goals are to increase transit accessibility, connectivity and mobility in Gwinnett and the region, Cooksey said. It will inform county leaders as they plan for future projects.

Gwinnett received four proposals for the transit study and conducted interviews with two finalists before awarding Foursquare the contract of nearly $1.5 million, paid for by capital transit funds. The Gwinnett Transit Advisory Board also voted unanimously earlier this month to award the contract to Foursquare.

The company has worked with local agencies including MARTA, Atlanta-Regional Transit Link and the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Foursquare proposed a goal of providing 35% of its contract work to minority firms, said China Thomas, transit capital projects director for the Gwinnett Department of Transportation.

The county is seeking proposals for a separate long-term comprehensive transportation plan that would also look at vehicles, sidewalks and bicycles, Cooksey said.

ExploreMore stories about Gwinnett County

“We’ll coordinate the efforts so that we aren’t flooding people with requests for information,” he said.

The last transit development plan, called Connect Gwinnett, resulted in a failed MARTA referendum in 2019. Voters rejected a 1% sales tax increase that would have funded a Norcross station on MARTA’s Gold Line, added bus rapid transit and expanded bus service. The failed 2020 referendum would have extended the Gold Line into Gwinnett but limited MARTA’s involvement.

Gwinnett voters also rejected MARTA in 1971 and 1990.