Gov. Sonny Perdue said today that he plans to find the $13 million needed to purchase more buses to accommodate the increasing number of people who are flocking to public transit because of high gas prices.
"I was disappointed this year when our Legislature overlooked the $13 million I placed in there for more GRTA buses," he said. "I'm sure we'll rectify that. We're going to try to find that money to get those buses."
He reiterated the fact in a conversation with reporters after his comments.
State lawmakers sliced the governor's $13 million request from the budget during the most recent legislative session. The same lawmakers also failed to pass a sorely-needed funding mechanism that would've allowed voters to decide if they wanted regions in the state to be able to levy a sales tax for transportation projects.
When asked by a reporter if the rising prices of gasoline had caused him to consider possible state assistance to expand transit systems, Perdue said to wait and see. He added that he expects all transportation agencies to work together to create a solution and that transit has to be a component.
But Perdue also put on his transit planner cap and hinted that the metro region's sprawling landscape is more suited to rolling-tire buses rather than rail-hugging trains.
"When you look at statistics, there's a certain density that's required to make [transit] sufficient," he said.
(Photo by Thomas Wheatley)
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