The Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce is once again asking voters to support the passage of a transit referendum in the county.
The chamber’s Board of Directors has voted to endorse passage of the referendum that will appear on Gwinnett ballots in November. If the referendum passes, a special, 30-year one-cent sales tax will be levied to pay for transit expansion projects.
“Concerning Gwinnett’s economic potential, the development of transportation alternatives is essential for retaining and attracting new and expanded businesses and high-paying jobs,” Gwinnett Chamber President & CEO Nick Masino said in a statement.
“The development of a robust transit system gives our county regional connectivity, greater access to top workforce talent, and improved mobility throughout the county where our residents have the enhanced ability to live, learn, work, and play.”
The chamber previously endorsed passage of the failed MARTA referendum in March 2019. Unlike that vote, however, this time, the county is mostly looking to expand the existing Gwinnett County Transit system with additional bus service, including more local, express and paratransit service and the establishment of bus rapid transit routes.
The plan does include an extension of heavy rail from MARTA’s Doraville station to at least the Jimmy Carter Boulevard corridor. That extension would be run by MARTA which, under state law, is the only agency allowed to operate any new heavy rail in metro Atlanta.
Early voting is scheduled to begin Oct. 12, and the transit referendum is one of two tax items appearing on the Nov. 3 ballot in Gwinnett. The other is an education special purpose local option sales tax for Gwinnett County Public Schools and Buford City Schools.
The chamber’s Board of Directors has endorsed passage of the E-SPLOST as well.