Operation of the bus service will be supported by a $3 hotel/motel fee in the Cumberland area. This special tax district will cover the operational expenses for the remainder of fiscal year 2017 — about $570,000 based on a yearly operation cost of a little more than $1 million.
“The funding for the ongoing operational costs for fiscal year 2018 and beyond will be part of the annual budget discussions,” Wilgus wrote in an email. “Currently that funding has not been determined, but we will continue to monitor the Cumberland Special Service District’s revenue to determine if there are excess collections above the required debt service payments, that can be applied to the circulator’s operational costs.”
In 2015, the county bought six new buses for the circulator. The county’s share of the $3.3 million price tag was $670,000.
The core route will travel in a continuous loop around the Interstate-75/Interstate 285 interchange, with stops at the Cobb Galleria, Atlanta Marriott Northwest, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, in addition to the stadium.
A second, southern route will start at the Cumberland Transfer Center and travel down Cumberland Parkway and Paces Ferry Road to the Home Depot corporate offices.
“We’re going to be looking very carefully at the ridership of this new circulator,” said Chairman Mike Boyce. He said the county wanted to ensure that “the intent is being met by the service.”