Thursday, January 26, 2012

Regional transit governance bill submitted to governor

Posted By on Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 1:21 PM

After much discussion over how much power the state would be willing to give up over transit — which it barely even funds — we get a look at its plans.

State lawmakers yesterday submitted legislation to Gov. Nathan Deal that would overhaul the way metro Atlanta's bus and rail systems are operated. The language of the proposed bill, which the governor is holding until he can gather enough signatures, is included as part of a state commission's report about transit governance (PDF). (Kudos to the Saporta Report's David Pendered for posting a copy.)

According to the legislation, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, or GRTA, would oversee all transit operations in the state except for MARTA. The legislation would also allow the lieutenant governor and House Speaker to make some appointments to the GRTA board. Currently, the governor picks all members.

In addition, A 35-member "transit governance" council would be created under GRTA to provide "direct policy-making and oversight of [GRTA's] transit governance." Members of that council would consist of, according to the report, a majority of local elected officials including 13 county commission chairmen and 13 mayors. The mayor of Atlanta would have a guaranteed seat on the council. The council would also be allowed to "proceed with contracts, applications, and legal agreements within its purview."

We're still poring over the legislation. Let us know if anything stands out.

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