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Interim MARTA CEO: Sen. Ossoff’s Local Transit Planning Support Act Will Help Expand Transit Options Across Georgia

President Biden signed Sen. Ossoff’s “Local Transit Planning Support Act” into law in November

Washington, D.C. –– A top Georgia public transportation official cited Sen. Ossoff’s transit planning law as key to expanding transit options across Georgia.

In a U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing, Collie Greenwood, Interim CEO and General Manager of MARTA, praised Sen. Ossoff’s Local Transit Planning Support Act and detailed how it will help expand access to public transit not just in Metro Atlanta, but across the state of Georgia.

Sen. Ossoff’s Local Transit Planning Support Act, signed into law by President Biden last fall, will increase Federal funding for transit planning in both low-income and low-density areas, boosting opportunity and quality of life in urban and rural communities that have been historically underserved and lack access to public transit.

“That legislation will enable some of the agencies that don’t have as much funding, don’t have the formula available to do that kind of investigation –– it’ll allow them to catch up. It will allow them to do the work necessary to actually create linkages with MARTA and better serve the region through a considered and interconnected network,” said Greenwood

Click here to watch Sen. Ossoff’s line of questioning:

Sen. Ossoff questions Interim MARTA CEO during Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Please find a transcript of the exchange below:

SEN. OSSOFF: “Finally, Mr. Greenwood, want to ask you about planning. And, you know, the President signed my Local Transit Planning Support Act into law as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which expands support for transit planning in low-income communities and in low-density communities. Can you please comment on how the Local Transit Planning Support Act will improve transportation around Metro Atlanta but also, based upon your experience, for coastal Georgia, for North Georgia, for Middle Georgia, for South Georgia, where there’s not as robust and existing infrastructure as there is around Metro Atlanta?”

COLLIE GREENWOOD: “Yeah, thank you for the question. I can say that, you know, MARTA enjoys a one cent sales tax through the communities that it serves in Fulton, including the City of Atlanta and the adjacent communities, some of our communities outside of MARTA’s footprint. You know, one of the common complaints that we hear is that transit isn’t expanding fast enough, and it’s not going to places that are developing around the current MARTA footprint. And so that legislation will enable some of the, you know, some of the agencies that don’t have as much funding, don’t have the formula available to do that kind of investigation –– it’ll allow them to catch up. It will allow them to do the work necessary to actually create linkages with MARTA and better serve the region through a considered and interconnected network.”

SEN. OSSOFF: “And with the Chairman’s indulgence, for parts of Georgia outside of your immediate jurisdiction, for folks along the coast, South Georgia, Middle Georgia, North Georgia, Local Transit Planning Support Act will help low-density communities to plan their transportation systems. Based upon your broad experience, 35 years working in transportation, how can that law impact and improve transportation for communities across the state?”

COLLIE GREENWOOD: “I have always looked at transit as the common thread that weaves through the fabric of any nation that it serves. And there’s no point in building strong transit in one area and leaving the rest of the neighboring agencies desolate. So transit is, we call it the equalizer because it gets you from point A to point B and from point B to point A. So that is, regardless of where you live, that currency, that that equity is available for you. And so that’s the that’s the magic of transit is that it is a common thread through all the communities that it serves and will be better able to link with the other providers of transit in in that common goal.”

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