Last year, both agreed to split the costs of a transit feasibility study. The city now has approved intergovernmental agreement with the county wherein each will provide half of 20 percent matching funds, $15,000 each, for a Federal Transit Administration funded study, with the county scheduled to take up the agreement at next week’s meeting.
The study will look at the potential for an urban transit system, in which city and county transportation planner Anthony Dukes explained “we’ll be asking will this community support a local bus system.”
The estimated cost of the study is about $120,000, with the rest coming from the Federal Transit Administration’s Urbanized Area Formula Program funds. Dukes said the county has about $1.2 million in federal funds banked to do this, but “we can’t unlock the federal funds without doing a study.”
He said the study will look at the entire county, but primarily what he said were "the density activity areas," explaining, “The county doesn’t have the density, but the city does.”
The areas for study include the city as well as Sun City Peachtree, the hospital area and the industrial park.
The Atlanta Regional Commission will administer the federal portion of the funds for the study because of federal reporting requirements for specialized staff, which the ARC has, Dukes told the county last year.
Currently the county has a rural transit system made of up of the white and blue vans. A recent ridership study showed, with the downturn in the economy, more people are utilizing those vans to get to and from work.
The system is full now, he said, and a fixed route system could tie into the current system and take some of the load off. The study will also help determine possible routes if a fixed-route system is needed.
The results from the study will not be in for eight to 12 months, Dukes said.