Gwinnett resident seeks ‘groundswell’ of support for mass transit vote

A Norcross resident who started a grassroots organization to promote mass transit in Gwinnett County said Tuesday that his goal is to convince commissioners to put transit on the ballot in 2016.

John Snyder, who started Gwinnett Needs Mass Transit earlier this year, said he would like to see an up-or-down vote in 2016 on whether the county should enact a transportation-specific local option sales tax that could help pay for transit.

Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash has already said she does not intend to put the measure on the ballot next year.

Snyder, who is also planning a run for a state House seat, said he has already started making presentations about the need for mass transit. Tuesday, he addressed county commissioners at their meeting, saying residents who commute to jobs and elsewhere need more options than are currently offered.

Afterward, Snyder said the need for transit is huge, though his organization is still small.

“I’m trying to build a groundswell,” he said. “The county has to do it. I have to convince them to do it.”

Snyder started a GoFundMe site in June to raise money for collecting signatures to petition commissioners and to buy media attention; he has raised $100 of his $10,000 goal.

Harriet Bradley, who also talked to commissioners about bus service Tuesday, said the voices of those who use mass transit are not being heard.

“The people of Gwinnett County want some sort of option,” she said.