02/25/2019 -- Lawrenceville, Georgia -- A Gwinnett County resident participates in a special voting during early voting at the Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections building in Lawrenceville, Monday, February 25, 2019. The special ballot asks Gwinnett County residence to approve or disapprove a contract for provisions to expand public transportation to the county. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer
Photo: Alyssa Pointer

How would MARTA in Gwinnett affect your neighborhood? Here’s the plan.

Gwinnett County voters have begun to cast ballots that will determine whether they will accept a transportation contract with MARTA, but one question still looms large: What exactly do we get out of this?

The county’s 167-page transit plan is available online, but isn’t a light read. Here’s a simplified explanation of what residents will see in their neighborhoods if the referendum passes March 19. You can find maps of each planned route in the full-length plan, or read the full plan at the end of this story.


LISTEN | Podcast: Understanding Gwinnett County’s upcoming MARTA vote

READ | Gwinnett’s MARTA referendum: a comprehensive voter’s guide

MORE | Abrams puts support behind Gwinnett MARTA expansion


Big picture

Gwinnett County Transit currently operates six local bus routes serving Norcoss, Duluth, Lilburn, Lawrenceville, Norcross and Peachtree Corners. From stops in Buford, Norcross and Lawrenceville, commuters have access to express buses to downtown Atlanta and MARTA trains. The county also recently launched an on-demand ‘flex transit’ service in the Snellville area, allowing residents to request a ride anywhere within the service area.

The first five years of Gwinnett’s transit plan focuses on expanding bus service further north and east, reaching more of Duluth and new areas including Berkeley Lake, Buford and Snellville. Buford and Sugar Hill will be added to the on-demand flex transit service. Adding access to paratransit for those with disabilities, new park-and-ride facilities and commuter buses connecting directly to MARTA train stations are also in the early stages of the plan.

After five years, residents can expect to see bus rapid transit — buses traveling in dedicated lanes on routes with few stops in core locations. More bus routes, park-and-rides and express bus routes will be added, as well as longer hours for bus service. The long-term phase of the plan, at least 10 years out, will see Gwinnett connected to MARTA’S Gold Line with a heavy rail station on Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross. Long term plans also include rapid bus routes, which are buses that stop frequently and use special lanes to get ahead of traffic.

For those still out-of-reach of bus, train and flex routes, the county is subsidizing Gwinnett County residents’ use of services like Uber and Lyft to reach transit stations and stops. The program would begin at $200,000 per year in subsidies. The county will sponsor a vanpool program to encourage people in more rural areas to take group rides to work or public transportation. Improvements to bicycle and pedestrian access are also in the county’s plan.

> More updates and news about the Gwinnett County MARTA vote from the AJC

Buford

Currently

• Park-and-Ride at Mall of Georgia (Buford Drive) for express bus service to Midtown Atlanta

Within 5 years

• New local bus route from Mall of Georgia to Gwinnett Place Mall

• On-demand flex transit service

• Direct connect bus service to Chamblee MARTA station from I-985 Park-and-Ride

Within 5 to 10 years

• New local bus route from I-985 park-and-ride to Sugarloaf Mills Park-and-Ride

• New local bus route between Mall of Georgia/I-985 Park-and-Ride and Georgia Gwinnett College

Within 10 to 30 years

• New rapid bus route from Mall of Georgia/I-985 Park-and-Ride to Infinite Energy Transit Center

• New rapid bus route from Mall of Georgia/I-985 Park-and-Ride to Snellville Park-and-Ride with a stop at the Lawrenceville Transit Center

• New express route beginning in Hall County, stopping at the I-985/Mall of Georgia Park-and-Ride, McGinnis Ferry Park-and-Ride and Jimmy Carter Boulevard hub

Hamilton Mill

Currently

• Nothing

Within 5 to 10 years

• New Braselton Park-and-Ride in Hamilton Mill Parkway and Gravel Springs Road area

• New express bus route from park-and-ride to Chamblee MARTA station

Within 10 to 30 years

• On-demand flex transit service

Sugar Hill

Currently

• Nothing

Within 5 years

• On-demand flex transit service

Suwanee

Currently

• Nothing

Within 5 years

• Paratransit service

Within 5 to 10 years

• New local bus route between Suwanee and the Infinite Energy Transit Center in Duluth

Within 10 to 30 years

• On-demand flex transit service

Dacula

Currently

• Nothing

Within 5 years

• Park-and-ride at Harbins Road

• Express bus route beginning at Harbins Road Park-and-Ride

Within 5 to 10 years

• New express bus route from Harbins park-and-ride to Dunwoody and Medical Center MARTA stations

Within 10 to 30 years

• On-demand flex transit service

Berkeley Lake

Currently

• Nothing

Within 5 years

• Paratransit service

• Bus route to Duluth will go through Berkeley Lake

Duluth

Currently

• Local and express bus service

Within 5 years

• Upgraded Gwinnett Place Transit Center with on-site customer service staff

• New local bus route from Gwinnett Place to Gwinnett Medical Center - Duluth

• New local bus route from Gwinnett Place to Mall of Georgia

• Direct connect bus service to Chamblee MARTA from Gwinnett Place

• Paratransit service

Within 5 to 10 years

• New Infinite Energy Transit Center

• Bus rapid transit stops at Gwinnett Place Transit Center, Sugarloaf Mills and Infinite Energy Transit Center with connection to Doraville MARTA station

• New local bus route between Infinite Energy Transit Center in Duluth and Suwanee

• New local bus route between Gwinnett Place Transit Center and Peachtree Corners Transit Center

Within 10 to 30 years

• New bus rapid transit route at Peachtree Corners Transit Center, stopping at Gwinnett Place Transit Center, Infinite Energy Transit Center, Sugarloaf Mills Park-and-Ride, Georgia Gwinnett College and Lawrenceville Transit Center

• New rapid bus route from Sugarloaf Mills to Doraville MARTA station, stopping at Infinite Energy Transit Center

• New rapid bus route from Infinite Energy Transit Center to Jimmy Carter Boulevard hub, stopping at Sugarloaf Mills

• New rapid bus route from Infinite Energy Transit Center to Mall of Georgia/I-985 Park-and-Ride

• New express route beginning in Hall County, stopping at the I-985/Mall of Georgia Park-and-Ride, McGinnis Ferry Park-and-Ride and Jimmy Carter Boulevard hub

Lawrenceville

Currently

• Local and express bus service

Within 5 years

• New local bus route from Georgia Gwinnett College to Snellville Park-and-Ride

• New Lawrenceville park-and-ride near Ga. 316 and Buford Drive

• Express bus service to downtown Atlanta from Lawrenceville Park-and-Ride

• Direct connect bus service to Chamblee MARTA station from Sugarloaf Mills Park-and-Ride

• Direct connect bus service to Chamblee MARTA from Georgia Gwinnett College

• Paratransit service

Within 5 to 10 years

• New Lawrenceville Transit Center near the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center

• Bus rapid transit stop at Sugarloaf Mills Park-and-Ride with connection to Doraville MARTA station

• New local bus route between Georgia Gwinnett College Transit Center and Mall of Georgia/I-985 Park-and-Ride

• New local bus route between Mall of Georgia/I-985 Park-and-Ride and Sugarloaf Mills Park-and-Ride

• New express route with stop at Lawrenceville Park-and-Ride to Dunwoody and Medical Center MARTA stations

Within 10 to 30 years

• New bus rapid transit route at Peachtree Corners Transit Center, stopping at Gwinnett Place Transit Center, Infinite Energy Transit Center, Sugarloaf Mills Park-and-Ride, Georgia Gwinnett College and Lawrenceville Transit Center

• New rapid bus route from Sugarloaf Mills to Doraville MARTA station, stopping at Infinite Energy Transit Center

• New rapid bus route from Snellville Park-and-Ride to Mall of Georgia/I-985 Park-and-Ride with a stop at the Lawrenceville Transit Center

• On-demand flex transit service

Loganville

Currently

• Nothing

Within 5 to 10 years

• New Loganville Park-and-Ride along U.S. 78 (specific location to be determined)

• New express route from Loganville Park-and-Ride along U.S. 78 terminating at Goldsmith Park-and-Ride

Within 10 to 30 years

• On-demand flex transit service

Grayson 

Currently

• Nothing

Within 10 to 30 years

• On-demand flex transit service

Snellville

Currently

• On-demand flex transit service

Within 5 years

• New local bus route from Snellville Park-and-Ride to Georgia Gwinnett College

• New local bus route from Snellville Park-and-Ride to Goldsmith Park-and-Ride (DeKalb County)

• Paratransit service

Within 10 to 30 years

• New bus rapid transit route from Snellville Park-and-Ride to Indian Creek MARTA station

• New rapid bus route from downtown Snellville to Peachtree Corners Transit Center

• New rapid bus route from Snellville Park-and-Ride to Mall of Georgia/I-985 Park-and-Ride with a stop at the Lawrenceville Transit Center

Lilburn

Currently

• Local and express bus service

Within 5 years

• New local bus route from Lilburn to Peachtree Corners via Norcross, beginning at Rockbridge Road and U.S. 29

• Paratransit service

Within 10 to 30 years

• New express route from Indian Trail Park-and-Ride to Buckhead MARTA station

Norcross

Currently

• Local and express bus service

Within 5 years

• Paratransit service

Within 10 to 30 years

• Heavy rail connecting Gold Line to transit hub at Jimmy Carter Boulevard (service projected to begin in 2030)

• Bus rapid transit route from Sugarloaf Mills will terminate at Jimmy Carter Boulevard station

• Rapid bus route from Jimmy Carter Boulevard hub to Alpharetta (Fulton County)

• New express route beginning in Hall County, stopping at the I-985/Mall of Georgia Park-and-Ride, McGinnis Ferry Park-and-Ride and Jimmy Carter Boulevard hub

• New express route from Indian Trail Park-and-Ride to Buckhead MARTA station

Peachtree Corners

Currently

Local bus service

Within 5 years

• New Peachtree Corners Transit Center near Peachtree Corners Circle and W.Jones Bridge Road

• New local bus route from Peachtree Corners to Lilburn via Norcross, beginning at Holcomb Bridge Road and Spalding Drive

• Paratransit service

Within 5 to 10 years

• New local bus route between Gwinnett Place Transit Center and Peachtree Corners Transit Center

• New express route from Peachtree Corners Transit Center to Dunwoody and Medical Center MARTA stations

Within 10 to 30 years

• New bus rapid transit route at Peachtree Corners Transit Center, stopping at Gwinnett Place Transit Center, Infinite Energy Transit Center, Sugarloaf Mills Park-and-Ride, Georgia Gwinnett College and Lawrenceville Transit Center

• New rapid bus route from Peachtree Corners Transit Center to downtown Snellville

• New direct connect bus route from Peachtree Corners Transit Center to Dunwoody and Medical Center MARTA stations


Early voting has begun for the referendum. You can cast a ballot from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Gwinnett County elections office at 455 Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville every day through March 15 — that includes Saturdays and Sundays. There are also seven satellite voting locations that open on March 4.

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A historic vote is underway in Gwinnett County and it could change the way many of you get around.

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