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Rep. Tanner sees transit legislation through general assembly
Kevin Tanner
Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville. - photo by For the Dawson County News

Ninth District State Representative Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, announced last week that the Georgia General Assembly gave final passage to House Bill 930, legislation that creates a new regional governance structure for transit in the metropolitan Atlanta region.

"I'd like to thank (Speaker of the House David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge) for his leadership in this area, as well as my fellow conferees, Speaker Pro Tem Jones and Rep. Smyre," said Tanner. "The General Assembly and Governor Deal provided $100 million in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget specifically for transit, and this funding and giving final passage to HB 930 today is very monumental for transit in the state of Georgia."

Ralston commended Tanner’s efforts, stating that the legislation is the “result of countless hours of good-faith negotiations among local governments, transit operators and the General Assembly.”

“This bill will allow us to plan effectively for future transit needs in Metro Atlanta while maintaining local control,” he said.

According to Tanner, the bill intends to improve the coordination, integration and efficiency of transit in the metropolitan Atlanta region and promote a seamless and high-quality transit system for the 13-county metropolitan Atlanta region.

Metro Atlanta is defined as the 13-county nonattainment area, namely: Cherokee, Clayton, Coweta, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale counties.

The bill would create the Atlanta-region Transit Link (the “ATL”), a regional transit governance structure that would coordinate transit planning and funding and would oversee all Metro Atlanta transit activity, including planning, funding and operations.

The ATL would be governed by a 16-member Board of Directors and would develop the regional transit plan, the official multiyear plan for the provision of transit services throughout the Metro Atlanta region.

This bill would also improve access to transit funding for the region from state and local sources, and the measure would preserve the current operational and funding autonomy of transit providers, such as MARTA.

HB 930 is a product of the House Commission on Transit Governance and Funding, which was established by House Resolution 848 during the 2017 legislative session to study Georgia’s transit needs and analyze ways for the state to adequately plan and provide for those needs. The commission held hearings across the state during the summer and fall of 2017, and the commission will continue its work through the remainder of 2018.

HB 930 will now go to Governor Nathan Deal for consideration. HB 930 would require the governor’s signature in order to take effect.

Representative Kevin Tanner represents the citizens of District 9, which includes portions of Dawson, Forsyth and Lumpkin counties. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 and currently serves as Chairman of the Transportation Committee. He also serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and the Education, Intragovernmental Coordination, Natural Resources & Environment and Special Rules committees.