Fulton Officials Welcome Governor’s Transit Funding Announcement | Print |

Fulton County officials joined Gov. Nathan Deal today as he announced the dedication of $100 million to fund Bus Rapid Transit in Fulton County.

Gov. Deal's FY2019 budget included an allocation of $100 million for transit. Today's announcement dedicates the entirety of that allocation for the transformative construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along Georgia 400.

The GA 400 BRT route was a key recommendation of the Fulton County transit study completed this year in coordination with the Atlanta Regional Commission and the mayors of the 14 Fulton County cities outside Atlanta. The project will benefit thousands of Fulton County residents as well as others traveling to and through Fulton County from other portions of the metro region.

"This investment is significant in pursuing a better, more focused regional approach to transportation," said Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robb Pitts. "Fulton County is proud of its role as a convener on this issue as we worked to build consensus for a better solution for our citizens. Ultimately, this is about keeping our region moving and confronting the gridlock that threatens the continued growth of Atlanta and the entire metro area. This major investment by the state in North Fulton will allow future local transit dollars to be invested throughout Fulton County."

Bus Rapid Transit lines combine some of the features of rail with others of local bus routes. For instance, BRT uses stations and schedules more akin to light rail, but BRT offers a considerably reduced cost than new rail lines, and transit sooner. In 2017, after the ARC LINK trip to Dallas, officials from Fulton County and mayors of Fulton County cities revisited Dallas and then Los Angeles, which has successfully implemented BRT, to explore the right transit options for Fulton County, in an effort to address traffic congestion.

"On behalf of Fulton County and our 15 cities, we are pleased to see our years of collaborative effort culminate in such a promising investment by the state," said Fulton County District 1 Commissioner Liz Hausmann. "After launching the Fulton County Transit Master Plan Study in 2017 and assessing various transit modes used across the U.S., including site visits to both Dallas and Los Angeles, we all agreed that Bus Rapid Transit would provide the greatest return on investment for Fulton County and Metro Atlanta. Of course, this success could not have been possible without our partners in state government, including Governor Deal and Chairmen Tanner and Beach. We are grateful for their willingness to work with Fulton County to the benefit of all of Georgia."

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the dedication of $184 million in Infrastructure For Rebuilding America grant funds to the construction of new express lanes on GA 400. The project will add two express lanes on each side of the road from the North Springs MARTA Station in Sandy Springs to McGinnis Ferry Road and one express lane in each direction from McGinnis Ferry Road to McFarland Parkway, with BRT service included in the new managed lanes.

Fulton County has invested in transit over the last 40 years, as one of the original counties supporting MARTA. On May 3, 2018, Deal signed the historic mass transit legislation bill HB 930 into law, creating the ATL Link, which will provide additional opportunities for transit expansion throughout metro Atlanta.