State leaders update Amazon on transit expansion with hopes to win HQ2

Channel 2 Action News has learned new details about Georgia’s bid to win Amazon.

The state updated the online retail giant about the new plan to link all of metro Atlanta under a single transit umbrella.

One of Amazon’s major criteria for locating its East Coast headquarters is transit. Channel 2's Richard Elliot learned that the state recently updated Amazon about Atlanta transit link and bus rapid transit here along Georgia 400.

At an afternoon news conference, Elliot asked Governor Nathan Deal if he’s updated Amazon on the state’s recent transit developments.

"The answer to that is yes," he told Elliot.

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Amazon's East Coast headquarters.would bring 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investments.

Channel 2 has learned that Amazon sent emails to all 20 finalist cities saying it still may take a couple of months to whittle down the finalist list to around three cities. It also included a request for any updates or new information.

Sources familiar with the Amazon negotiations confirm Georgia updated Amazon on the newly passed law creating the Atlanta Transit Link, the comprehensive regional transit plan. Those same sources said the state also updated Amazon on the Georgia 400 bus rapid transit plan announced Tuesday.

House Speaker David Ralston said transit is vital to economic growth.

'We’ve seen companies like Mercedes-Benz, State Farm and yes, Amazon.com tell us explicitly that transit is important to world-class companies and their employees," he said.

Deal hopes Amazon will see Georgia’s new commitment to transit and that it will help seal the deal for HQ2.

"I think that the fact that they see good faith on the part of the state taking these kinds of moves hopefully will give them and others confidence that we’re ready to address not only the current needs of our citizens, but also those that we may anticipate in the future," he said.

We may not hear if metro Atlanta makes the final three or so finalists for a couple of months.
 

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