Speaker Ralston Announces Appointments to House Commission on Transit Governance & Funding

On Thursday, Speaker David Ralston announced appointments to the House Commission of Transit Governance and Funding. The commission was created by HR 848, a measure that was introduced and passed on the final day of the 2017 legislative session. The senate and house were unable to agree on a bill establishing a transit governance council for the metro Atlanta region. The Senate insisted on SB 6 and the House insisted on  HB 160. When neither looked likely to pass, HR 848 was pushed through. The members of the commission are listed below the fold.

Speaker Ralston had this to say:

“Transit is becoming more and more important to Georgia’s future. From congestion relief to economic development, a robust transit network across our state will have long-term benefits for our citizens. Situations like the recent I-85 rebuild have clearly demonstrated the importance of transit to our state and its economy. The House is proud to lead on this initiative to develop actionable, meaningful solutions.”

The six House members appointed by the Speaker are:

  • Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville) – Chairman
  • Rep. Christian Coomer (R-Cartersville)
  • Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur)
  • Rep. Jason Shaw (R-Lakeland)
  • Rep. Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus)
  • Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody)


The four representatives of transit systems or counties which provide mass transit appointed by the Speaker are:

  • Liz Hausmann – District 1 Commissioner, Fulton County Board of Commissioners
  • Curtis Kolber – CEO & Executive Director, Chatham Area Transit
  • Butch McDuffie – Director, Athens Transit System
  • Charlotte Nash – Chairman, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners


The four residents of the State of Georgia appointed by the Speaker are:

  • Brian Anderson, Sr. – President & CEO, Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce
  • Rhonda Briggins – President, Georgia Transit Association
  • Butch Miller – State Senator (R-Gainesville)
  • Bob Ott – District 2 Commissioner, Cobb County Board of Commissioners


The ex-officio members of the Commission as provided by HR 848 are:

  • Russell McMurry – Commissioner, Georgia Department of Transportation
  • Keith Parker – CEO, MARTA
  • Chris Tomlinson – Executive Director, GRTA

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Progressive Dem
Progressive Dem

Not one state representative from the largest county or city in the state where the most transit infrastructure exists?


Just a note, Rhonda Briggins served for years a MARTA’s head lobbyist and has great relationships with both sides of the aisle. I think she just retired since she was still at MARTA when I saw her earlier this year.