Transit options still limited in Gwinnett

Transportation, and specifically public transit, has been gaining traction across Gwinnett County in recent months. This spring, the county’s Chamber of Commerce released a poll showing 63 percent of likely voters said they were in favor of expanding MARTA into Gwinnett. In August, a survey called the Great Exchange showed more than half of those who responded wanted trains or buses as a transportation option.

The county’s transportation director has requested money to restore Gwinnett’s bus service to its pre-recession, 2007 levels. And for the first time next year, Gwinnett and other metro Atlanta counties will have the option to consider a transportation-specific local option sales tax that could help pay for transit and other travel needs.

Despite percolating interest, though, Gwinnett County chairman Charlotte Nash said it is still too soon for the county to take a large step forward when it comes to public transportation.

“Quite honestly, I’d just as soon not be the first,” Nash said of the referendum.

And who knows — with the advent of self-driving vehicles and services like Uber, she said, the transportation needs of Gwinnett County and the region could quickly change. People may be less interested in rail, she said, if they can relax in a private pod.

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