Exclusive to The Clayton Crescent
by Robin Kemp
U.S. Senators Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff announce nearly $1 million in federal funding to get MARTA’s Bus Rapid Transit moving in Clayton County and south metro Atlanta. The Federal Transit Administration funds will go to MARTA’s BRT Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) study, a necessary step in bringing bus rapid transit online. The study will assess community needs and project purposes for Clayton County’s proposed BRT project.
Warnock, who serves on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said, “The more easily Georgians can get from place to place, the more they thrive, and the more our communities and economy thrive. These critical infrastructure funds will help ensure the Clayton County BRT project opens new doors of opportunity for all residents in and around Clayton County, and I’m going to keep fighting for more strong federal investments that help move Georgians and Georgia into a brighter future.”
Ossoff added, “Clayton County deserves the best, and I will keep working with Senator Reverend Warnock to build out transit options for Clayton County that help families get to work, get to school, get groceries, and get to the doctor’s office safely, conveniently, and affordably.”
In June 2021, Warnock advocated that U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg back MARTA’s funding application with the FTA’s Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Pilot Planning Grant program, and urged the Department to support the Clayton County BRT study.
In September 2021, Warnock and Ossoff, along with Senator Cortez Masto (D-NV), introduced the Public Transportation Expansion Act . The bill calls for affordable housing connected to low-emissions bus rapid transit in low-income communities. Both senators also are “working to secure additional transit connectivity investments that will create new economic opportunities and strengthen mobility and housing options for Georgians.”
According to a spokesperson for Warnock, the BRT network would “improve mobility, accessibility and connectivity to the Atlanta region, providing greater access to jobs and services while reducing traffic congestion.”
The high-capacity Clayton County BRT would connect MARTA’s College Park station to Airport Gateway, the Shops of Riverdale, Southern Regional Medical Center’s campus, the Mount Zion commercial corridor, and Southlake Mall.