Gwinnett County commissioners formally agreed to partnerships with three local community improvement districts to help fund a bus rapid transit corridor study Tuesday.
The county’s agreements with the Gateway85 Gwinnett, Gwinnett Place and Sugarloaf Community Improvement Districts call for each of the CIDs to contribute funding to cover a local match on an Atlanta Regional Commission grant to pay for the study.
The study is expected to cost $800,000, but the county and the CIDs will collectively put up half of that cost in the local match on the grant.
“The Gateway85 Gwinnett, Gwinnett Place and Sugarloaf CIDs are each committing $25,000 toward that match,” Gwinnett County Director of Transportation Alan Chapman told commissioners.
The three CIDS are working with the county on securing the grant funding for the study because the route that would be looked at crosses through the three districts, going from Jimmy Carter Boulevard to Sugarloaf Parkway.
County officials previously said the proposed BRT route would follow Brook Hollow Parkway to Indian Trail Road and then move over to Beaver Ruin Road before turning north along Satellite Boulevard. For most of that trip, the BRT buses would travel in dedicated lanes that would begin north of Jimmy Carter Boulevard.
Commissioners agreed to apply for the grant in late March. This week’s move is designed to shore up funding to cover the local match for that application.
Pursuit of funding for the study is the first major move county leaders have made on transit since voters rejected plans for the county to join MARTA in a March 19 referendum.
Bus rapid transit is a key part of the county’s Connect Gwinnett Transit Development Plan, which would have been MARTA’s blueprint for transit service and may still be incorporated into the Atlanta Transit Link’s regional transit plan.
When the commissioners voted in late March to apply for the grant, Chapman pointed out the funding would not cover construction work.
“We believe it’s an important corridor for us to make some decisions on,” Chapman said at the time. ”To do any construction on the corridor, we’d have to look for (other) funding sources moving forward.
“But with the federal dollars and the matching funds that the CIDs have committed, we think it’s worthwhile to look at what could be done along Satellite and Brook Hollow to provide some alternatives to the 85 corridor.”