Gwinnett transit study to explore county’s ‘high capacity’ options

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

Gwinnett County's transit development plan is about to get up-and-running and will explore a plethora of possibilities for Georgia's second most populous county — including the feasibility of high capacity options like rail or bus rapid transit.

Gwinnett Department of Transportation director Alan Chapman briefed the county's Board of Commissioners on Tuesday morning about the transit plan, which board chair Charlotte Nash announced last week at her state of the county address. The county is expected to award a contract to complete the comprehensive study sometime in the next 90 days or so.

The study, which Nash has vowed will include "ample discussion” with residents, is expected to examine short-, medium- and long-term options for improving Gwinnett County’s transit offerings.

The long-term possibilities to be explored include “the development of high capacity dedicated right of way transit solutions,” Chapman said -- meaning things like rail or bus rapid transit. The latter would operate in its own dedicated lanes and likely have fewer stops than local bus service.

County officials have not endorsed bus rapid transit, but have said it may be the most economically viable option to expand current services. A financial plan and feasibility study with "estimated cost to construct and operate for a community-supported major investment" will be included in the study.

Nash said last week she wants the county to have a vote on whatever transit options are presented by the study. That referendum would be unlikely to take place in 2017, she said.

As the county prepares to launch its transit study, it’s also wrapping up nearly two years of work on its comprehensive transportation plan. That plan touches on transit but also addresses topics like roadways, trails and pedestrian-oriented improvements.

A new round of public meetings on the transportation plan begin next week and will be held at six locations throughout the county. The same information will be presented at each meeting.

Feb. 27, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Lilburn City Hall
340 Main St., Lilburn

March 2, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Snellville City Hall
2343 Oak Road SW, Snellville

March 6, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 
Conference Room C
75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville

March 16, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Dacula Park Activity Building
2735 Old Auburn Avenue, Dacula

March 18, 10 a.m. to noon
Shorty Howell Activity Building
2750 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth

March 20, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
George Pierce Park Community Room
55 Buford Highway NE, Suwanee