‘Transit beats traffic’: Pro-MARTA group launches Gwinnett TV ad

A screenshot of the TV ad created by pro-transit group "Go Gwinnett."

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A screenshot of the TV ad created by pro-transit group "Go Gwinnett."

The push for MARTA in Gwinnett is coming to your TVs.

Go Gwinnett, one of the pro-transit committees advocating for voters to approve the county's March 19 referendum on joining MARTA, released Tuesday a 30-second ad that it said will air on local cable stations.

The theme? “Only transit beats traffic.”

“In all parts of the county, traffic is going from bad to worse, and only transit beats traffic,” Go Gwinnett spokesman Brian Robinson said. “A ‘yes’ vote would connect Gwinnett to the region, and the sales tax approach ensures that 30 percent of the revenues will come from people who live outside of the county, not just Gwinnett property owners.”

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ExplorePREVIOUS COVERAGE: Is Gwinnett traffic bad enough to push voters toward MARTA?

The 30 percent figure suggests that spending by shoppers and other visitors from outside of Gwinnett would account for nearly one-third of the revenues collected in collection with the new 1 percent sales tax that would be put in place should the referendum pass. It’s a number frequently used by local business leaders but is only a rough estimate.

Without tracking the addresses of shoppers at the point of sale, there’s no precise way of knowing how much sales tax is paid by visitors to the county.

Passage of Gwinnett’s referendum would ratify the contract between the county and MARTA and enact the new sales tax to fund transit projects. Those projects would include a heavy rail extension to Norcross, 50 miles of “bus rapid transit” and other dramatic service expansions.

Early voting is already underway at eight different locations.

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