Clayton County commissioners, in a 3-1 vote, opted to let residents decide in a Nov. 4 referendum whether to fund MARTA service within the county with a one-penny sales tax.
If Clayton voters approve the measure, it would be the first expansion of MARTA beyond the confines of DeKalb and Fulton counties since the agency began operating 42 years ago.
Two of three surrounding jurisdictions (Atlanta, Fulton and DeKalb) must also agree before a deal can be finalized. MARTA officials said Saturday they expected the jurisdictions to do so.
If the measure is approved, MARTA will begin offering limited bus service in March 2015 and full bus service service the following year, Clayton commission Chairman Jeff Turner said. The contract the county and MARTA signed Saturday does not set a deadline for starting commuter rail or similar transit service.
“They have committed to keep Clayton County involved,” Turner said. “I am satisfied with the terms of agreement and I am committed to working hand in hand with them to bring the best transit system to Clayton County.”
In addition to Turner, Commissioners Sonna Singleton and Shana Rooks voted for the penny sales tax. Commissioner Michael Edmondson was the lone dissenter. Commissioner Gail Hambrick was absent.
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