Not the End of the Line for Transit in Gwinnett

For Immediate Release
March 22, 2019

Not the End of the Line for Transit in Gwinnett

ATLANTA, GEORGIA — Advance Atlanta — a grassroots, citizen-driven coalition working to champion existing transit and build support for comprehensive regional transit expansion throughout metro Atlanta — expresses tempered disappointment in the results of the Gwinnett County ballot referendum, but remain optimistic regarding the future of transit in the county and Metro Atlanta region.

With the support of several key leaders on this issue, including Gwinnett Board Chair Charlotte Nash and MARTA Treasurer Robbie Ashe, voters in Gwinnett were offered the choice to have their money stay in Gwinnett and an expansive transit plan to meet the needs of the citizens throughout the county. However, only 17% of Gwinnett voters cast a ballot and several who spoke publicly regarding their opposition echoed false talking points that, if passed, the referendum would divert taxpayer funds away from the county. Advance Atlanta credits extremely low voter turnout and misinformation for the critical defeat.

Advance Atlanta President James Touchton said:

“This setback only renews the focus on the need for transit expansion around the Metro Atlanta region. The members of Advance Atlanta remain dedicated to our mission of transit expansion throughout the region and will continue to work to educate and advocate on this critical issue.”

As the 8th-largest and 2nd-safest transit agency in the country, MARTA expansion remains a viable option through the newly created Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority as several counties continue to explore transit expansion. Though the failure of the referendum remains a setback for Gwinnett, Advance Atlanta believes this setback is temporary and views the referendum as a learning experience for future transit-related initiatives in Metro Atlanta. Advance Atlanta will continue to work with our pro-transit partners to support efforts to bring transit to Gwinnett and the surrounding region.