By approving the resolution, the county commission is making it clear that rail -- and not bus rapid transit -- is the goal.
Read more: DeKalb enters final phase of Transit Master Plan process
Commissioner Nancy Jester tried to introduce an amendment that would have watered down that language and kept the bus line as an option. When that didn’t get traction, she said she could not approve the resolution and ultimately voted “no.”
Commissioners Kathie Gannon and Jeff Rader abstained.
Commissioner Larry Johnson, the resolution sponsor, said he introduced the measure after hearing from constituents who said they wanted MARTA to make good on a 2012 promise to bring rail to south DeKalb. These residents have been paying into the MARTA system for decades through an existing 1-percent sales tax but have not reaped enough benefits, Johnson said.
During a MARTA board meeting in September, several black speakers said that MARTA appeared to be favoring projects that benefit residents in white areas over those in black communities.
In March, Gwinnett County voters rejected a referendum that would have expanded heavy rail up Interstate 85 from Doraville to Jimmy Carter Boulevard.
Read more: Atlanta, DeKalb residents vent on MARTA expansion plans