“People recognized the opportunity to increase travel options was something they wanted to say yes to,” said Colleen Kiernan, director of the Sierra Club’s Georgia Chapter.
Of metro Atlanta’s five core counties, Clayton is the only one that lacks a local public transit system. A county-operated bus system, C-Tran, was dissolved in 2010 due to lack of funds. MARTA supporters hope the transit line will spur economic development and revitalization.
The vote means Clayton’s sales tax will rise from 7 percent to 8 percent, starting in March. The MARTA tax is expected to generate proceeds of about $45 million per year.
Half the money will finance limited bus service starting in March and full bus service the following year. The other half will be set aside for a future commuter rail or a comparable form of high-capacity service (such as bus rapid transit).