Historic Day for Transit Funding in Georgia

HB 511 Creates State Funding Mechanism for Ongoing Investments in Transit Projects

The Georgia Legislature recently made the historic decision to establish a mechanism to annually fund transit projects that support economic development priorities across the state. Georgia Senate unanimously

adopted HB 511, which establishes nine trust funds to ensure that fees collected for a specific purpose are spent for that purpose. This includes the Georgia Transit Trust Fund, which will retain the $0.50/ride fee on for-hire ground transportation established by HB 105 last year for the Governor and Legislature to take ownership of transportation projects. in common.

“I want to commend the bipartisan leadership of House Speaker David Ralston and Dean Calvin Smyre, who have worked for years on public funding for transit projects,” said MARTA Managing Director and CEO Jeffrey Parker. . “I also want to commend Governor Kemp for including the Transit Trust Fund in the comprehensive bill to codify the Truth in Trust Funds Constitutional Amendment that Georgia voters overwhelmingly supported in November. We are grateful to the leadership of the Senate for unanimously approving this bipartisan measure. »

MARTA Board Chair Rita Scott added, “The Georgia Senate also has the opportunity to join the Governor and the House in supporting the $6 million budget line for transportation rentals. to make infrastructure improvements needed to support Microsoft’s investment in Georgia, as well as $1 million for a new bus maintenance facility needed to support the growth of the county’s transit system. ‘Athens-Clarke.

As Georgia continues to be among the best states in which to do business, for-hire ground transportation fees offer Georgia another recruiting tool to align local and state financial resources to best promote the state for purposes of economic development.

The Microsoft Campus investment is an example of how state and transportation authorities can work together to make Georgia more attractive to companies looking to make major investments there. Transit was listed as a key consideration for Microsoft in choosing to invest in Georgia.

Working with Microsoft, MARTA has identified $50 million in infrastructure improvements to Bankhead Rail Station, including increased capacity and access, and potential transit-focused development.

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