(gov.ga.gov) - Following approval by the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) board, Gov. Nathan Deal today announced $100 million in General Obligation bonds for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) infrastructure, part of the SR 400 Express Lanes project. This investment by the state is the result of a partnership with Fulton County and MARTA to construct four bus-only interchanges along a 16-mile stretch of SR 400. This project was made possible by the passage of HB 930, the law creating the Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority (the ATL).
The upcoming $1.8 billion SR 400 Express Lanes project will widen the highway, reduce congestion and accommodate the new BRT interchanges. The SR 400 Express Lanes project is projected to reduce delays by 18 percent in the SR 400 corridor by 2030, for a total of more than 19,000 hours each day or time savings of 20 to 25 minutes per user.
“We continue to make investments to ensure that our modes of transit and mobility are worthy of the No. 1 state for business and the best place for opportunity,” said Deal. “I allotted $100 million in bonds in the FY 2019 budget to demonstrate the state’s commitment to addressing mobility needs through strategic investments in transit infrastructure. This visionary project will enhance the plans for SR 400, one of our state’s most vital corridors for commuters, jobs and freight. In 2015, I allotted $75 million to fund transit needs statewide, and this latest investment will further move the needle to decrease congestion and improve Georgia’s transportation network.
“This investment in BRT infrastructure marks the first time that the state, Fulton County and MARTA have partnered together to improve our mass transit system. With this announcement, we are introducing collaborative solutions for both transportation and transit, which is exactly what the ATL and Georgia’s commitment to improving mobility are all about.”
About the project
This $100 million in bonds will be used by GDOT to plan and purchase property for BRT interchanges on the SR 400 Express Lanes route, which will help accommodate the growing transit needs in the corridor.
MARTA and Fulton County will invest in BRT infrastructure and operations, pending approval of a Fulton County referendum.
GDOT is currently in the discovery phase of selecting locations for BRT interchanges. Right of Way acquisition will begin in FY 2019/2020 and the procurement process to select a contractor will begin in mid-2020.
“Today’s announcement is not only historic because of the forward-looking transit partnership it creates, but also because it marks a milestone of tremendous progress in our state’s effort to invest in our infrastructure and make a real difference for Georgians sitting in traffic,” said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. “Governor Deal and Speaker Ralston have been steadfast in their commitment to make Georgia a national leader in economic development, and in part because of the investments we’ve prioritized in transportation and transit, we’ve led the nation as the best state to do business for five consecutive years and continue to set new records in job creation. Going forward, we must continue building on this historic commitment to reducing traffic congestion and developing a world-class, 21st century infrastructure.”
“This substantive state investment into our transit infrastructure will help relieve congestion along the Georgia 400 corridor,” said House Speaker David Ralston. “This project will also aid in recruiting world-class companies like Mercedes-Benz and State Farm that place a priority on access to transit for their employees. In sum, this project has the potential to not only improve quality of life but help create more jobs for our citizens – that’s a win-win.”