Metro Atlanta Mayors talk the future of public transit - CBS46 News

Metro Atlanta Mayors talk the future of public transit

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

Plans for new transit options in metro Atlanta could soon be rolling right along.

"I'm not driving at this moment so I have to depend on the bus," says Beverly Thomas who likes the idea of something newer and quicker. "It would be great."

Fulton County Commissioners met with mayors and other representatives from cities across the county to discuss a referendum they will eventually put on the ballot for Fulton County voters. Some are hoping as soon as November. 

It would be a sales tax increase to pay for the new projects.

"We need to make sure that the voters see a benefit if they're going to be asked to pay more money then they have to get some return on that investment," says Liz Hausmann.

One of the options they're considering is introducing Bus Rapid Transit, which are buses that almost look and feel of a train and have their own lanes.

"The questions are where the stations go, how do we connect into the East-West portion and how does it fit into the larger network," say Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul.

Questions that need answers before they propose this to voters.

Union City Mayor Vince Williams is hoping to get the referendum on the November ballot to help the commuters in his city sooner rather than later.

"It's an extreme need because we have been a city on the Southside if you will, that's been embracing a lot of e-commerce and fulfillment centers opportunities," says Williams. "When I meet with these folks that's one of the first things they want to do. Do we have ready public transit that will get folks back and forth to these jobs?"

Legislation that just passed, HB 930, is awaiting the governor's signature. It creates a new regional transit authority for the 13-county metro region.

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