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HB277: A Pictorial

April 30, 2010

The other day, when discussing the new transit bill, HB277, I mentioned we had one Win.  Section Five of the bill has to deal with a MARTA expansion, allowing for the region to expand MARTA to the original five-county system that had always been the plan.

This is how it works (to the best of my I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-talking-about abilities, and in my oversimplified dumbspeak, with pictures):

HB277 includes an amendment to the existing MARTA Rapid Transit Contract and Assistance Agreement (RTCAA) to allow for all counties originally included to vote this November to opt-in to MARTA.

The first step is for the MARTA board to adopt this amendment.

Once that happens, it goes to the five county commissions plus the city of Atlanta that were to be included in MARTA, this is Dekalb and Fulton counties plus Cobb, Gwinnett, and Clayton.  Two out of the three existing MARTA jurisdictions (the city of Atlanta, Dekalb, and Fulton counties) must approve the amendment first

and the given county commissions must approve as well.

This has to happen within 60 days of the MARTA board approving the amendment, so the counties need to jump on board FAST.  If the two existing jurisdictions plus any of the other three counties approve, it then goes to a vote in that county this November.  It can only happen this November, so this entire process has to happen before October 3rd.  But if it does, then voters in those counties would have the opportunity to pass a one cent sales tax to join MARTA, bring in an influx of cash, help us grow the system and even to begin some commuter rail with the Lovejoy line, finally giving us the system that we’re all dreaming of.

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