In an example of passing the buck, the Cobb County Commission has expressed support, by and large, for holding a vote to allow voters to vote on a $500 million bus rapid transit (BRT) line that would connect the county to Midtown. Cobb's four commissioners all expressed interest in allowing constituents to voice their opinions in coming years, while Chairman Tim Lee remained hesitant, wanting more information, reports the Marietta Daily Journal. The plans, which first came to light in a recent 15-year transit opus for the county, call for a 25-mile system — much of it operating in an exclusive right-of-way on Cobb Parkway — stretching from Kennesaw State University to Arts Center MARTA station. But after the defeat of T-SPLOST three years ago, many of the commissioners, despite their own support of the project, feel the county may not be ready for a vote ...
According to the AJC, when the members approved the Cobb County Comprehensive Transportation Plan last month, they actually gave themselves the power to authorize the construction of the BRT system without putting it to a vote by the county. But all indications are that the commission didn't realize they had given themselves that power, and have no interest in acting unilaterally to make big financial decisions for the county. Which is ironic, considering that whole SunTrust Park thing... But that was so 2013.
If the commission did decide to exercise the power they didn't really realize they had in the first place, or if voters decide it's time to create an alternative to sitting on Interstate 75 every morning and evening, the BRT scheme could prove a boon for Cobb. The BRT system could be high-capacity, if demand dictates, stretching almost twice as long as existing MARTA service in the northern suburbs. What's more, it could be accomplished for much less money and in much less time than the proposed red line rail extension in Fulton.
Your move, Cobb County.
· Commissioners support referendum for BRT [Marietta Daily Journal]
· No public vote needed for controversial BRT project [AJC; subscriber]