North Atlanta suburbs support MARTA expansion

martaSuburbanites north of Atlanta support the expansion of heavy rail expansion, according to a recent poll by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.

This represents a dramatic turnaround in sentiment about bus and rail expansion out of Atlanta and into the prosperous suburb from the latest poll in 2008.

And get this: Gwinnett voters are more than willing to subsidize this. In addition to the majority of likely voters supporting the expansion, the study says “[a] majority (50%) of likely voters in Gwinnett County support a one percent sales TAX to fund the expansion of MARTA into Gwinnett County,” the poll states.

Two reasons contribute to this surprising poll result: The overwhelming support for MARTA expansion of bus and rail service on the opposite side of town, in Clayton County just south of the airport; and the increasingly frustrating congestion on Atlanta’s highways.

The poll randomly queried 502 in Gwinnett County, the second most populous county in Georgia to Fulton County. Female participants outnumbered males by 10 percent, and there were twice as many white participants than African-American participants. Fourteen percent of the respondents identified as “other.”

The number of residents has more than doubled since 1990 to more than 870,000 today, according to a U.S. Census estimate. Nearly 25 percent of its residents were born in another country,

Clayton County voters recently approved a 1-percent sales tax to fund MARTA bus service — and one day, transit officials say, rail. Businesses are relocating and expanding operations in areas that are served by transit.

 

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