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Legislature to consider creating regional transit governing board

New legislation has been proposed to create a regional “Transit Governance Council” to handle bus and rail projects in metro Atlanta in conjunction with the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.

The Transit Governance Council would include local elected officials from each of 13 metro Atlanta counties including Fayette, Coweta, Clayton, Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett and seven others. Under the legislation, each county would be represented on the TGC by its county commission chairman and a mayor elected by a caucus of the county’s mayors.

The region’s transit aspirations will be front and center this July, as a vote is slated for a proposed 10-year one percent regional sales tax. If approved by voters in the 10-county metro region, more than $3 billion of the tax would be used for rail and bus improvements in metro Atlanta.

The sales tax, which also contains more than $3 billion for road projects, has been criticized for providing too much funding for mass transit. One of those critics, Peachtree City resident Bob Ross, has noted that only 5 percent of metro residents use some type of transit service.

The regional transportation sales tax process also has been assailed because of the possibility that individual counties could vote down the measure but still have to implement the tax because the vote is tallied on the aggregate vote of all 10 metro Atlanta counties.

According to the proposed legislation, the council would also include the mayor of Atlanta and five other members: three appointed by the governor and one each from the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the House of Representatives.

The governor also would have the power to nominate two additional county commissioners, who must be approved by a majority of the county commission chairpersons on the council, and also one municipal elected official who must be approved by a majority of the mayors on the council.

Under the draft legislation, the council would be charged with a number of transit-related tasks, including the adoption of a regional transit plan and the ability to accept federal funds for transit projects. The council would also be charged with developing a fare system for transit operators other than the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).

Although the proposed legislation does not spell out any regional taxation powers, it would allow local governments including counties or cities to levy a tax, fee or assessment to pay for transit projects.

The proposed legislation would enable GRTA and the Transit Governance Council to plan and expend local, state and federal funding for transit projects. Part of the push for a regional transit agency is a hope to unite the various transit offerings from several different entities with a desire to have one unified fare system that would work across all transit types.

By linking all of metro Atlanta’s transit options under one agency, there is also a hope that the area will qualify for more federal funding than if the various existing transit agencies had to apply for funding on their own.

The proposed legislation also would change how GRTA’s board of directors are chosen as of July 1, 2012, with the governor appointing nine of the 15 members, and three each appointed by the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the House of Representatives.



ginga1414's picture

Means "The People" have lost their voice in determining what happens within their own communities and subsequently their lives.

Yeah, more bureaucracy--just what we need.

PTC Observer's picture

"New legislation has been proposed to create a regional “Transit Governance Council”"

Who exactly proposed this legislation?

Fayette will always lose in these regional groups, we don't have enough population to make a difference in outcomes. How can we allow a "council" to take away our right to vote on issues that impact Fayette County?

When will all the laws, government councils, government bureaus, government administrations and government departments smother us with all their good intent? When is enough...enough?

When will we stop being just sheepel?

Why do you and others who call for 'government to be run like a business' shriek like girls that have stepped on a garden snake when someone actually proposes to do so? How can you and the small-government gang logically argue for Georgia to be cut up into 159 counties, all with their own boards of commissioners, tax authorities, police forces, clerks, etc.? You should be arguing FOR regionalism and the disbanding of the county system if anything!

Another befuddled belch of buffoonery from the bucolic back-bencher that is PTCO!

Told you the Giants would win! Mike King owes me a beer, which I bequeath to you as the Ninja does not imbibe!

PTC Observer's picture

I will take that beer but I don't think Mike King would agree to buy it. I am sure the whole shape of your world was changed by calling that game. A game I didn't watch. How was Best Buy? Crowded?

Well let's just take your argument the other way Ninja, why would we have counties at all? As a matter of fact why don't we do away with states? And nations? Then we could have your "new world order", we could all become nondescript automatons all diligently working for the "greater good" with an elite at the top telling us how to live our lives and protecting us from all risk.

Then Ninja we would have Plato's Republic, naturally because of your superior qualities you would be part of the philosopher class.

So, you don't imbibe? Is this a leftover from the last great social populist experiment? Prohibition....or are you simply getting over an obsessive compulsive problem?

But not to the extreme! The US should be divided into four regions--North East, South East, North West, and South West! Move the national capital to Lebanon, Kansas! Good idea! We should also adopt a 100-year plan for full integration with Canada, Greenland (if Denmark will agree), Central and South America! Good Idea too! Simply call it America! Let English and Spanish battle it out in the market place for language dominance! Perhaps Spanglish even! Let the market work--why are you afraid of it?!

If Mike King is a good and true believer of property rights, then he will willingly accept my transfer of the free beer promised by him to me to you! Otherwise, he will be admitting Uncle Ho's personal and moral victory over him!

I'm afraid my superior qualities would not ensure me of a high position in such a new world order! I would probably be relegated to slinging paper versions of Editor Cal's rag on people's driveways in the middle of the night!

I don't imbibe anymore because I don't find the taste of most alcoholic beverages pleasing to my palate! No past problems or social statements about done and undone Constitutional amendments! Simply taste preference!

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Hate to butt in here, guys, but I have given this some thought years ago. Doing away with the states and replacing them with regions - and regional governments to provide most services. And yes indeed, severely downsize federal government so it will fit in any small town in one of those square states. The 4 districts you mention are fine, I just want one more for the liberals.

And then we would be able to right a terrible wrong, an offense second only to slavery. We really need to take the 20% of the population that is liberal and move them away from the scenic cities that have access to beaches and oceans and large lakes. Think about it, some of the most beautiful cities and states are occupied mostly by liberals - blue states. Look at it on a map - it is disgusting. San Francisco, Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago, Maine, Vermont, Washington State, the list goes on and on. The liberals need to go in that 5th region - the states formerly known as Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana. Maybe they can fix the school systems there since they know so much. They could vote to redistribute wealth within their own district, kill as many babies as they like, New Orleans would become a gay marriage magnet, John Edwards could be regional governor - a liberal dream.

It is only fair that the rest of us then get to take over the nice cities and states for the next 200 years.

Live free or die!

Check out the FEMA Regions---they may be to your liking! What? Don't like those---well then check out the EPA Regions! What? You didn't even know such things existed? Would it surprise you if you learned that most folks DON'T?

Gym-bo, better not comment too much on the EPA, or they will throw you into the 'collard eaters sector' when they take over administration of the land we know as North America!

I'll hold out for the Butterbean & Fatback Region! Oh, sorry, 'Fatback' is Southern for 'Streak o Lean'!

Why do you think those scenic cities are scenic? It's the high-IQ liberals that made them that way over the years! If you take them out, the collard eaters will turn them into giant trailer parks in no time flat! Besides, the collard eaters don't like waterside scenic unless covered with mini-golf courses, tattoo parlors, all-U-can-eat buffets, cheap motels, and Waffle Houses! Why do you want to turn Martha's Vineyard into another Panama City Beach?! The collard eaters are most happy living in rough, un-scenic environments! That is why you will not find many collard eaters in White Water Creek but many in Brooks, even among those with the same income levels!

Glad to see that you are on board with regionalism though!

Where do you rank Whitney among the all time great voices outside of opera?

Robert W. Morgan's picture

they are scenic because they were built long before Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, FDR and LBJ started meddling with society. All those Irish and Chinese and Italians that came over here to expand the very small cities of the 18th and 19th centuries into true urban paradises stayed and prospered and everything was fine. Then the 20th century comes along and the aformentioned 4 and many others along with the invention of the car and getting women the right to vote changed things - really, really changed things.

Scenic cities are that way because of architecture and natural resources. The rabble that lives in them can be replaced - even with mindless tobacco chewing rednecks and the city will still be scenic. Places like Martha's Vineyard will be protected by Code Enforcement Officers - all trained by Peachtree City and supervised by David Rast, so no problem there. I do worry about skateboards in San Francisco, though. Even PTC can't regulate those things.

Whitney was a troubled soul with a good voice, might make my top 100, but not my top 10.

Live free or die!

Whitney will be remembered for not just her voice but for her unbelievable body of work which showcased her God-given talent. What a vocal range! Liberals in Mississippi? LOL!! Creative sense of humor. It's better for tourism to leave the attractive liberals in the scenic cities. IMHO

Mike King's picture

I will certainly purchase the beer. Let me know when & where.

my removing my Ninja wear, which would restrict my ability to wield my sharp sword of truth against public officials and others that need cutting down to size! PTCO has said he will take the beer you owe me for calling the Super Bowl right! But, I think he only drinks untaxed spirits for fear of contributing his hard-earned profits from collard growing to the Feds, so you might end up quenching your thirst sitting on a tree stump drinking out of a mason jar out in the woods in Meriwether County somewhere! Don't worry though, the Malibu has off-road tires on it!

PTC Observer's picture

Thanks for keeping your promise to Ninja, I couldn't possibly accept a beer on his behalf without his presence.

I would be happy to buy you a beer sometime. Let me know and I will be happy to arrange it.


ginga1414's picture

to send emails and make phone calls to our representatives with a loud and clear "We don't want this!" Believe it or not our emails and phone calls really help.

Remember when Mayor Haddix warned us that this would be coming. A lot of folks wouldn't listen. FORMER Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele saw to it that Haddix was voted off as our representative on the Regional Transportation Roundtable because Haddix chose to tell Fayette citizens the truth about what was ahead.

Here is a list of contact information for our representatives:

Eric Dial, Tyrone Mayor & Fayette RTR Representative -

Ronnie Chance, District 16 - Ethics Member - (404) 651-7738 - Email Address:

Matt Ramsey, District 72 - S. Fayette - (404) 651-7737 - Email Address:

 Roberta Abdul-Salaam, District 74 - Riverdale - (678) 489-2047 - Email Address:

Virgil Fludd, District 66 - Tyrone - (678) 489-2047 - Email Address:

Governor Nathan Deal - 404-656-1776

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