Tag Archives: GRTA

GRTA considers options to keep its bus fleet safe, reliable, tidy

Repair or replace? That’s the question facing GRTA as it considers its fleet of aging buses. The answer isn’t obvious.

Repair is cheaper for the next six years. But after that, replacement is the less expensive option, according to a consultant’s report presented Wednesday to GRTA’s board.

GRTA officials have presented the figures to Gov. Nathan Deal’s staff, and to the governor’s budget writing agency, the Office of Planning and Budget. The timing suggests GRTA may seek some level of funding in the state’s upcoming FY 2016 budget, which the next governor will present to the Legislature in January.
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New regional transit trip-planner website growing slowly, as planned

A new transit website serving metro Atlanta is an example of local agencies responding to an idea many view as sensible, and which results from legislation that wasn’t enacted by the General Assembly.

In the first two weeks after its very soft launch, on July 1, ATLtransit.org has attracted slightly more than 1,000 views.

The website intends to help transit riders plan and pay for trips that involve riding one or more of the region’s transit systems. Four transit systems and ARC decided to build the site even though the Legislature did not vote for the concept brought forward by Sen. Brandon (R-Alpharetta).
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Air quality improving in metro Atlanta, according to preliminary GRTA report

The air quality in metro Atlanta is showing significant improvements in terms of a reduction in the amount of fine particulates, according to a preliminary report by GRTA.

The number of “good” air quality days reached a preliminary figure of about 50 percent in 2013, the best year on a chart that shows years going back to 2004. The air quality index hovered in the mid 60 percentile range from 2012 back to 2009.

If the preliminary findings stand, the region will meet the stricter air quality standards the federal EPA imposed in December 2012. Metro Atlanta’s improvements coincide with the great recession and a number of rules implemented by Georgia.
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GRTA marks 10th anniversary with “thank you” events at park-and-ride locations through June 29

GRTA is marking a few milestones this summer with customer appreciation events at each of its park-and-ride locations. The first events were held Tuesday in Gwinnett County.

The Xpress bus service has now been operating for 10 years. The service has provided more than 17 million passenger trips during that period and now provides about 2 million trips a year, according to GRTA.

The commemorations occur even as mobility remains a major public issue in metro Atlanta. The latest example unfolded Tuesday in Clayton County, when MARTA GM Keith Parker presented an overview of how MARTA could serve the county if Clayton resumes bus service.
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GRTA complies with Civil Rights Act, except for amenities in four parking lots, internal report shows

GRTA complies with the federal Civil Rights Act in the operation of Xpress bus service, but four parking lots lack required amenities, according to results of a self-review the GRTA board discussed Wednesday.

The issue is a lack of amenities such as ADA parking in a leased lot, pavilions, security cameras, and call boxes, the review determined. The board voted to address the shortcomings.

Other than the parking lot issues, the review determined that GRTA complies with the provisions of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as administered by the Federal Transit Administration.
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Traffic relief, transit upgrades funded in ARC’s five-year spending plan

A new plan due for initial adoption Wednesday by the ARC board shows the extent to which $7-plus billion can go toward improving metro Atlanta’s transportation network.

Planners talk up the will-do projects contained in this five-year spending proposal, rather than lofty visions in the Atlanta Regional Commission’s long-range transportation plan. The ARC’s 2040 plan update is up for adoption, as well.

This strategy of focusing on the five-year plan addresses some realpolitiks: Regional traffic is building after the recession, while transportation funding remains scarce; A vote to adopt a regional transportation plan will show ARC’s board is not immobilized by disagreement over who should be elected as a citizen board member.
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Getting around without a car: Transportation funding proposals promote transit, walking, biking

Bicycling, walking and transit are getting more attention as metro Atlanta planners prepare to adopt the proposed update of the region’s short- and long-term transportation plans. The plans are to be approved within 30 days.

“We will see this discussion grow more robust: How can we ensure a transit network and pedestrian network that improves moving people to regional job centers,” the ARC’s David Haynes said at Wednesday’s GRTA board meeting.
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GRTA’s Xpress bus funding quietly becomes part of state’s base budget

Georgia has quietly gotten into the business of subsidizing regional bus service in metro Atlanta.

Gov. Nathan Deal and state lawmakers have made barely a peep this year about providing about the $8.2 million that Deal recommended to pay for bus service provided by GRTA, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority. This sum doesn’t quite cover a year’s worth of operations, and the legislature likely will fill the gap next year.

This transit funding is remarkable, if only for its history.
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Transportation update: GRTA’s acting director, MARTA reorg on hold, Atlanta’s transportation planning

Some degree of clarity is emerging in metro Atlanta’s cauldron of transportation planners, managers, and planning.

GRTA Executive Director Jannine Miller visited the Capitol Thursday to say her goodbyes to lawmakers and introduce them to Kirk Fjelstul, her deputy director who was named by GRTA’s board as acting director. Down Mitchell Street from the Capitol, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed remains without a transportation planning director as the city tries to figure out how to realign Martin Luther King Jr. Drive around the future Falcons stadium and implement its bike share program.
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Future of Xpress bus service so rosy that GRTA looking for better bus barn

GRTA is looking for a better place to store and maintain its fleet of Xpress buses.

This is a dramatic turn-about for a transit service that seemed imperiled by the failure of the 2012 transportation sales tax referendum. The future is rosier, now that Gov. Nathan Deal and the Legislature have inserted money for Xpress bus operations into the state’s continuation budget.

“We feel more confident than we had before,” said GRTA Executive Director Jannine Miller.
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