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Georgia Senate bill would remake transit in metro Atlanta

A Georgia senator introduced legislation Monday to allow metro Atlanta counties to impose a 1 percent sales tax for transit – if they let MARTA run their transit systems.

Senate Bill 386, sponsored by Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, also would consolidate transit planning and construction for metro Atlanta under a new board under the Georgia Regional Transportation Agency.

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week, the bill is this year’s first attempt to remake transit planning and funding in metro Atlanta. But it likely won’t be the last. The House is expected to unveil similar legislation as soon as this week.

The February 2nd, 2018 edition of Georgia Legislative Week in Review with Mark Neisse, Maya T. Prabhu and the Phrase of the Week by James Salzer. Video by Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com

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SB 386 would create a new regional board to oversee transit expansion in the 13 counties served by GRTA: Cherokee, Clayton, Coweta, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale.

The new board would have to approve the list of projects for any referendum put to voters in any county in the region.

The General Assembly also is expected to consider a major boost to state funding for transit.

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