The vehicles used in Gwinnett County's pilot "microtransit" program in Snellville will be similar to the county's paratransit buses, one of which is shown here. (Courtesy of Gwinnett County)

Gwinnett launching on-demand bus service in Snellville

Gwinnettians won’t go to the polls to vote on joining the MARTA system until next year — but one local city is getting a new transit service next week. 

“Microtransit,” to be precise. 

Gwinnett County announced this week that it selected a portion of the city of Snellville for a six-month pilot of a new on-demand, door-to-door bus service. The offering, called microtransit because it serves a small set area, will be free and begins Sept. 17. 

IN-DEPTH: What’s next with MARTA, Gwinnett contract?

“This is a new type of service for us so we hope to learn more about how receptive the public is to using an on demand transit service that circulates through a defined area,” Gwinnett transportation director Alan Chapman said. “This is also a new technology for us with a mobile app that allows for real time scheduling of service. So the pilot will allow us to work with potential customers on how to utilize the service.”

Gwinnett will use seven 12-passenger buses to offer services between 6 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday. Riders can request the service, which can be used for everything from errands to rides to local park-and-ride lots, by downloading the app at or calling 770- 822-5010.

The service area for the bus service is shown in the map below.

A map of the service area for Gwinnett's pilot microtransit program in Snellville.

Chapman said ridership is expected to be limited at first but grow “as people have a chance to try it.” Additional service like the pilot program is included in the county’s comprehensive transit development plan. 

The plan identifies areas like Snellville, Buford and Dacula in particular for on-demand services in the future.

The pilot service will “pause” after six months, officials said, while the county makes assessments about what worked and what didn’t.

“As we developed our comprehensive transit plan earlier this year, we received a lot of community feedback that serving areas like Snellville needed to be a priority,” said Karen Winger, the director of Gwinnett’s transit division. “Since regular bus routes require more population density than Snellville has, we had to come up with another way to do it. Microtransit seemed to be the next best option. It’s flexible and comprehensive.”

MARTA board approves historic Gwinnett contract MARTA’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a contract to expand transit service in Gwinnett Gwinnett County’s Board of Commissioners already approved the contract with MARTA The next hurdle will be a public referendum on the matter, which is scheduled for March The plan recommends a rail line from the existing Doraville MARTA station to a new hub in the Norcross area It also recommends bus rapid transit and greatly expanded local bus service

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.