News Center
Atlanta Region Making Big Strides in Mobility

Posted on: Apr 30, 2018

MARTA train over I-75In case you missed it, ARC Chairman Kerry Armstrong wrote an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sunday, April 22, as part of a package on the recently passed regional transit legislation.

Armstrong’s piece, “Metro Atlanta Making Great Strides in Improving Mobility,” placed the legislation in a regional context, explaining how transit fits into the region’s transportation plan, and how new investments are set to transform the region’s transportation infrastructure:

The region’s long-range transportation plan acknowledges we can’t build our way out of congestion … But that doesn’t mean things can’t improve.

A balanced approach – a mix of carefully targeted road and highway improvements, expanded transit options, and increased opportunities to get around by walking and biking – can make a real difference.

Our region is moving forward on all of these fronts. Indeed, billions of dollars are being invested over the next few years to improve our transportation network.

The AJC also published a companion piece from State Rep. Kevin Tanner, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee. Tanner, a Republican from Dawsonville, sponsored the legislation.

Tanner’s article, “Moving Forward on Regional Transit in Metro Atlanta,” describes the factors that came together in Georgia and metro Atlanta to make this historic legislation possible, and dispels several potential misconceptions about the bill. He also discussed what lies ahead:

But in many ways, the hard work starts now. We must develop a smart, comprehensive regional transit plan, while at the same time being wise stewards of public funds.

And the creation of a truly regional transit network will require difficult decisions by decisions by elected officials and residents alike. Counties must choose whether to pursue an expansion and decide on a project list, while voters will be asked to open their wallets to fund new service options.

This is an historic moment for metro Atlanta. I firmly believe that this legislation will unlock the region’s potential, improving mobility and quality of life while preserving our economic strength.

And AJC Editorial Page Editor Andre Jackson wrote an editorial about the legislation about the historic nature – and the great promise – of the legislation:

[This legislation] is a great victory for pragmatism and politics as the art of the possible at a time, nationally, when discordant sound seems to triumph too often over substance. Against that backdrop, the state Legislature deserves praise for getting an important task accomplished, especially in an election year.

The Legislature was wise and correct to realize that expanded transit options are increasingly being demanded by both job-creators and workers alike…

It’s to their great credit that they persevered this year in finding a way to enable voters to decide on funding future transit initiatives in their counties while creating an umbrella agency to help make it all work as efficiently as is practicable.