MARTA in Gwinnett: Another station added to study

LAWRENCEVILLE - Officials have added a possible fourth Gwinnett MARTA station in a study of bringing the Atlanta heavy rail system into the suburbs.

The Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District board Thursday agreed to add another $14,000 to the study's budget, a price to be matched by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. The organizations have already contributed $90,000, with another CID in the Gwinnett Place area adding $10,000.

Chuck Warbington, the CID's director, said the additional money was needed to look at an in-fill

station along Buford Highway as well as updating ridership figures.

Other stations proposed in 1990 - when voters overwhelmingly voted against the idea - include spots near Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Interstate 85, Indian Trail Road and I-85 and at Gwinnett Place Mall.

Warbington said preliminary results show the Gwinnett Place station would have the highest ridership of any stop on the line.

But because of the unpopularity of the idea nearly two decades ago, the CID has also stepped forward with $11,500 to conduct a public opinion poll on all modes of transit, including MARTA.

About 500 voters will be surveyed by the end of the month, Warbington said. Results are expected at the CID board meeting next month, which is when the MARTA study should also be available.

"We hear all the time Gwinnett County won't support it (MARTA), but we're trying to get a baseline as to what the county would support," Warbington said about the poll. "We're on a fact-finding mission."