(The Center Square) — Gwinnett County leaders this week voted to move forward with a $17 billion transit plan that, if implemented, would roll out new routes and substantially expand weekday and weekend service.
County officials plan to use a mix of local, state and federal funding to pay for the Gwinnett County Transit Development Plan. It includes expanding the Ride Gwinnett bus system to daily service, building out 500 miles of fixed routes and adding high-capacity transit along busy corridors.
Under the plan, starting in 2027, the county’s transit system could operate routes from a park-and-ride on Interstate 985 and Snellville Town Center to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. It could also connect with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority at the Doraville and Indian Creek rail stations.
According to the plan’s executive summary, a “transformational shift in Gwinnett County’s mobility funding model will be needed to implement the TDP recommendations over the next decade.” Recommendations for paying for the plan include a “transition away from annual property taxes towards a 1% dedicated” Transit Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
In a statement, Gwinnett County Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson called the plan “transformative,” saying it “charts an intentional path forward while paving the way for a more prosperous future, providing convenient transit alternatives for our residents and reducing congestion on our roads.”
In neighboring Barrow County, city and county leaders have agreed to divvy the proceeds of T-SPLOST should voters approve it in November. Cobb County commissioners are also mulling a Mobility SPLOST to fund a 30-year, $4.5 billion bus rapid transit plan.
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor