Voters in Gwinnett will head to the polls Tuesday to vote on whether they want to join MARTA. The vote is required after Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 930 into law last year, allowing the 13 metro-Atlanta counties to decide on buying into the system.
The bill would allow Gwinnett County to create a 1 percent sales tax for the next 30 years to fund transit expansion within the county. County officials say that could raise $5.4 billion over that time.
The Connect Gwinnett Transit plan, approved by county commissioners last year, calls for added heavy rail, bus rapid transit, and added paratransit options among other things.
County Chairman Charlotte Nash spoke in the past on the issue saying the county’s growing population is an added reason to expand the public transit system.
“There’s also the need to continue to develop the business community and provide jobs for all those folks that are headed our way,” Nash said at a MARTA event earlier this year. “So, I call it the next big decision for Gwinnett County. The time for making this decision is here."
This isn’t the first time a vote on joining MARTA has come up for Gwinnett County. Citizens there rejected the idea in both the '70s and '90s.
Early voting started on the issue in February, and polls close at 7 p.m.