Think of it as a train on rubber tires with stations along SR 400.
The table was set, and it was now time for the municipalities to make good on their promised vision. Should the cities of North Fulton choose not to find their share of local funding for SR 400, an unfortunate precedent would be set which would likely jeopardize state funding commitments to future projects and adversely impact local jurisdictions across Georgia.
Realizing a transit vision while making good on a promise to the state of Georgia are reasons enough to act. However, there is a new reality in Washington D.C. that makes an even more compelling argument for local transit funding. The Biden administration has clearly communicated its intent to fund infrastructure initiatives across the country with a premium on projects that meet their goals for equity and environmental sustainability. Transit initiatives align perfectly with these values.
With their decision to create a Transit Improvements Project in their T-SPLOST list, the North Fulton cities will be affirming their alignment with the federal government’s goals and greatly enhance the likelihood that projects such as the SR 400 BRT will receive the federal match necessary to complete the funding requirements or to receive federal discretionary funding.
During the months of March and April the cities of North Fulton will each compile a list of transportation projects to which they will commit their share of the next round of T-SPLOST dollars. It is imperative that each of these cities allocate 10% of their share of T-SPLOST funds to a Transit Improvements project.
In doing so, the cities will be showing leadership by investing in a long-term vision; they will be making good on their past promises to their communities, Fulton County, and the state of Georgia; and they will be ensuring that their constituents will not miss out on the federal transit funding that will be made readily available by the new Biden administration.
Kevin Abel is secretary of the State Transportation Board. He was elected to the board in 2019 and represents Congressional district 6, including portions of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties.