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May 1, 2018

HB 930: Advancing Transit in Metro Atlanta

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Today MAC hosted a panel to dive into the impact of this session's transit expansion bill, HB 930. The panel consisted of Jeff Parker, General Manager & CEO of MARTA, Kevin Tanner, House Transportation Chairman, and Chris Tomlinson, Executive Director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and the State Road & Tollway Authority. 

HB 930 creates the ATL Authority with jurisdiction over the 13 county metro Atlanta region. It will be housed with in the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) and be governed by a 16 member board. A full, detailed summary of the bill can be found here. 

Questions about the funding and project lists came up in the conversation. The bill allows for Mass Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes (TSPLOSTs) to be levied for 30 years, which will be the main source of funding. As to federal matching, Chairman Tanner referenced a conversation House Speaker David Ralston had with the President about how the federal government wants to "help those who help themselves." In regards to project lists, Parker discussed the City of Atlanta's project lists and the abilities of the counties to give priorities. 

Chairman Tanner went on to discuss that the ten authority districts were created around the communting patterns of the 13 counties and were "not based on partisan politics."

Tomlinson made the point that "creating one cohesive network is as much a part of it as the expansion opportunities" in regards to unifying the transit providers across the 13 counties. 

Thanks to everyone that joined us for this deep dive into the ramifications of HB 930. Pictures of the event can be found here.

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