Nine Georgia transit agencies are the beneficiaries of $125 million in funding as a result of the Go! Transit program. The awards, which will buy new buses, park and ride facilities, and more, were announced by Governor Deal and State Roads and Tollways Director Chris Tomlinson at a Gold Dome ceremony this morning. The funding comes from a bond issue of $75 million that was authorized by the Transportation Funding Act passed during the 2015 legislative session. The remaining $50 million comes from matching federal funding.
Award recipients include MARTA, Cobb County Transit, Gwinnett Transit, Albany Transit, Athens-Clarke County Transit, Chatham Area Transit, Henry County, the University of Georgia, and the Atlanta Regional Commission. In announcing the awards, Governor Nathan Deal said,
This marks the first time that Georgia has made this type of significant investment in transit systems statewide. Our state is of course experiencing positive momentum right now in regards to transportation, including the expansion of the Port of Savannah [and] the major investments in our state’s roads and bridges that GDOT has planned over the next decade. … The recent formation of transit study committees by the House and Senate demonstrates their ongoing commitment to meeting Georgia’s needs at every part of our state.
Speaking to reporters after the recipients had been announced. Governor Deal expressed optimism that additional funding from the state could be on the horizon. “I think it probably could,” said the Governor. “I think that you will see that there will be a continuation of this. I think you’ll see that you are going to get very positive responses from the communities that are receiving these funds, and I believe that will translate into support from the General Assembly.”
“You have to start somewhere,” Deal said, “and I think this is a significant first step.”
A list of the projects is below the fold.
Albany Transit System
Constructs a new state-of-the-art transfer facility that improves the customer experience and allows for future expansion of the system. The facility will allow for safer separation of bus and pedestrian traffic, improve coordination with the regional rural public transportation system, and provide innovative features such as a computer lab with free public Wi-Fi and on-site fare purchases.
Replaces one-third (10 buses) of the Athens-Clarke diesel powered bus fleet with new hybrid-electric buses. The new buses will reduce long-term maintenance costs and decrease emissions.
Atlanta Regional Commission
Bus Stop Amenities
Upgrades bus stop signage throughout Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties. The new signs will have a consistent design for all transit systems and improved information for customers. Bus shelters, benches and sidewalk upgrades will also be provided at select stop locations to enhance riders’ experience and improve access for the elderly and disabled.
Chatham Area Transit Authority (CAT)
Replaces one-third (26 buses) of the CAT bus fleet. Newer buses will reduce maintenance costs and enhance the customer experience by improving reliability and on-time performance.
Bus Expansion – Route 10X
Purchases 12 buses needed to operate a new Cobb Community Transit Route 10X, which will provide express service from Town Center to the Midtown MARTA station with limited stops at major locations such as Kennesaw State University. This route will improve transit options along the I-75 corridor by reducing transfers among existing routes and decreasing travel times.
Bus Expansion – Cumberland Circulator
Purchases six buses to create two new circulator routes within the Cumberland Community Improvement District. The circulators will improve transit access to jobs and key community resources such as Sun Trust Park, Cumberland Mall and the Cobb Galleria.
Purchases 20 new buses for Gwinnett County Transit, which will enable the service to run more efficiently, improving reliability and cost-effectiveness.
Sugarloaf Mills Park & Ride Upgrade
Redesigns and upgrades the Sugarloaf Mills Park-and-Ride lot to improve bus access and passenger amenities. Customers will have additional shelters and the ability to purchase fares on-site. Buses will be able to take a more direct route to the I-85 Express Lanes, decreasing travel times and improving reliability.
Jonesboro Road Park & Ride
Constructs a new park-and-ride lot near the intersection of Jonesboro Road and I-75 in Henry County. The lot will provide access to the new I-75 South Metro Express Lane for vanpools and Xpress buses, improving connectivity and reliability.
Audio Visual Information System
Upgrades public address and electronic passenger information system at MARTA’s 38 rail stations with enhanced audio and video displays, expanding transit user access to communications and emergency information. Enhanced features include multi-lingual signage, automated messaging that more quickly provides communications to riders, and the display of bus schedule and arrival time information for connecting transit systems such as transfers from rail to bus or to other regional transit operators.
University of Georgia
Replaces one-third of the existing diesel bus fleet (19 buses) with new fully-electric buses, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing a quieter ride for transit users. The buses will also reduce maintenance costs, improving the cost-effectiveness of the system.