Cobb eyes Sunday bus service

The audience erupted in applause as Cobb County took its first step toward Sunday bus service.

The Board of Commissioners approved an exploratory study to develop a weekend bus route and schedule for the CobbLinc local bus service at its regular Tuesday meeting. The $172,000 study will be carried out by Kimley-Horn and Associates, with the county contributing $34,400 and the remaining $137,600 coming from federal grant funds.

“It’s both a byproduct of SunTrust Park as well as being asked a lot for it” by commuters, said Cobb Transportation Director Jim Wilgus. “If Sunday service is implemented it will probably mimic Saturday service, so [the study] is looking at demand, the routes, the times, the headways—everything that we’ve got going on on Saturday.”

Wilgus estimated that Sunday service would cost the county an additional $1.2 million a year. The proposed service would be separate from the Cumberland circulator, which is expected to begin operation in the stadium area later this year or in early 2017.

Wilgus expressed hope that the Sunday service study would be completed by fall. If approved, the new service would be implemented shortly after, he said.

Speaking at the meeting, South Cobb Commissioner Lisa Cupid called the study the “most serious contemplation” of Sunday bus service she has seen from the county.

“It’s important to me to galvanize support for this [study] so that it is not a question to the commissioners the level of seriousness that we have regarding this,” Cupid said.

Reactions from the public were mostly positive.

Rev. Clinton H. Parker spoke about the importance of Sunday bus service to people transitioning out of the criminal justice system, and called on the county not to ignore what he described as a widening gap between the haves and have-nots.

“It’s important that we have Sunday bus service,” he said.