The final version suggested extending nearly seven more miles of heavy rail from the potential transit hub near Jimmy Carter all the way up to the Gwinnett Place Mall area, where the county has already acquired land to expand its existing transit station. But while every other potential project in the plan — which also includes several "bus rapid transit" lines and greatly expanded local bus service — has potential revenue streams identified, the longer rail line does not.
The roughly $5.4 billion in projects included in the “original” plan is based on estimates of funding from state and federal sources, fare box revenues and on the county’s residents approval of a new 30-year sales tax.
The next step for officials will be to decide whether or not to call for a referendum on transit expansion this fall. Nash has said that decision would likely need to be made by August in order to get a question on November's ballots.
An agreement with MARTA would have to be worked out beforehand.
The ATL, the new regional transit agency created by legislation passed earlier this year, will not legally exist until Jan. 1. That means a Gwinnett referendum before then would involve MARTA technically being the administrator of revenues from any one-cent sales tax approved by voters.
Nash described it as “a transit tax that would be spent through a contract with MARTA.”
Tyler Estep is a reporter covering DeKalb County, its government and its people. A Gwinnett County native and University of Georgia graduate, he has been with the AJC since 2015. He previously covered his home county and served stints on the paper's hyperlocal and breaking news teams.