Transit system to receive more buses

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett Transit will get bigger buses, and maybe a few more riders, after two proposals were approved Tuesday by commissioners.

Officials gave the go-ahead for a pilot agreement with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority to allow county buses to pick up passengers in DeKalb.

Transportation Director Brian Allen said the deal allows buses that travel along Buford Highway to drop off passengers at the Doraville MARTA station to pick up riders once they pass the county line.

"It costs us nothing because the buses are traveling that way anyway," he said. "(Riders) don't care what kind of bus they ride."

Commissioners also approved an agreement with the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority to use five MCI coach buses for the next year.

The buses, which have 57 seats compared to Gwinnett's typical 35 to 37 seats, will help not only keep people from standing on express trips to Atlanta but will also allow for more maintenance time for the rest of the county fleet.

In a couple of years, when the first county buses begin to reach the age of replacement, Allen said the longer buses will likely be chosen for the fleet. The pilot agreement allows officials to test them.

In the meantime, he said, "we're able to haul more people on a more comfortable ride."