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Georgia Senate: Regional transit system is the right path forward

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Plans could materialize by 2018, but legislation will be slow to come

A MARTA train at Atlanta’s King Memorial Station.
Jawja legislators: “These train thingys could be the future after all.”
Curbed Atlanta

In metro Atlanta, no fewer than five public transit agencies operate in an alphabet soup of mobility — or in some cases, immobility.

But despite a consolidated fare system, the individual operators spread across the region mean that trips crossing county lines can be complicated or even impossible.

Regional control of a transit agency has been proposed before, and the Georgia State Senate is now indicating that such a setup will be imperative for the Peach State moving forward.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that a Senate committee has filed a report ahead of the start of the legislative session requesting that money be appropriated for the State Road and Tollway Authority to develop an outline for a regional transit system.

That’s right — significant, consistent state money for transit. It sounds so uncharacteristically 21st Century of them.

Thus far, talks have focused on how a regional transit system is imperative for moving Atlantans around the metro, but no legislation has officially been proposed for the upcoming session.

MARTA: the meagerly funded engine that just might.
Base image: Wikipedia

The goal will reportedly be to involve outside parties with experience creating regional transit networks. One legislator called the issue “complicated,” indicating that any decisions moving forward would have to be approved by a vote of citizens in each involved county.

Expect to hear of more discussions about regional transit options in 2017, with legislation slated to come by the end of the year.