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New U.S. 78 buses won't stop at church

SNELLVILLE - A bus taking commuters to Atlanta from Snellville due to start Monday will not stop at the Snellville First Baptist Church - at least, not until an agreement with the church has been finalized.

Instead, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority buses will only pick up at a Hewatt Road park-and-ride stop in Snellville.

Rob Alexander, GRTA's manager for customer development, said he expects the church to be added as a stop soon.

"We're still working on a final agreement with the church," he said. "We still have some issues to talk about."

A woman who answered the phone at the Snellville First Baptist Church said she could not discuss what the holdup was, but she expected it to be worked out. Alexander said he did not know the detail, but said the problem was minor.

"There will not be protracted negotiations," he said. "All the t's weren't crossed and the i's weren't dotted."

The Xpress Bus service, to be operated by Gwinnett County Transit, will have a 90-day trial run at the request of County Commissioner Mike Beaudreau. Beaudreau has said he does not support the route, which will travel to the Atlanta Civic Center, with stops at the Peachtree Center, the Five Points MARTA station and Capitol Square in the mornings. There will be four morning buses, beginning at 5:40 a.m., and five in the evenings.

Alexander said he thinks the area needs the service and that the buses will begin to fill up as they run. The Hewatt Road stop has 100 parking spaces, he said.

"The bus is the best advertisement," he said.

For more information on the routes, visit www.xpressga.com or call 404-463-4782. Fares will cost $3 one way, and 10-ride passes will be $27. Monthly passes will be $100.