DeKalb enters final phase of Transit Master Plan process

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DeKalb County residents will get one last chance to weigh in on the Transit Master Plan process during a series of open houses this week.

These open houses, all identical, will include updates on potential projects, their costs and impact on existing communities and the environment. The public meetings are:

  • Tuesday, June 4, at the Toco Hills Library, 1282 McConnell Drive in Decatur;
  • Wednesday, June 5, at the Stonecrest Library, 3123 Klondike Road in Lithonia;
  • Thursday, June 6, at the Exchange Recreation Center, 2771 Columbia Dr. in Decatur.

A list of 40 potential projects are being whittled down to a number the county can manage and afford over the next 30 years. Everything from a MARTA line expansion down Interstate 20 to establishing light rail or bus rapid transit routes in DeKalb is on the table.

Those 40 projects carry a $25 billion price tag, which is far outside of the scope of what the county can afford. Residents are also providing feedback about how to improve current services, such as by increasing connectivity between existing MARTA stations and bus routes.

If DeKalb were to implement a new one-percent transportation tax, it could provide $3.65 billion in revenue over 30 years. That tax would increases the county’s total sales tax to 9 percent.

According to the Transit Master Plan timeline, DeKalb’s cities will provide feedback on recommendations in June and July. The DeKalb County commission is scheduled to sign off on the final report in July.

Once the Transit Master Plan is complete, it will be used to coordinate projects and resources with the new regional ATL Board.

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