Rep. Tanner Unveils 2019 House Transit Proposal
Wednesday, March 6th, 2019
The 2019 House Transit plan released late last week is designed to “allow the state to remain economically competitive and prosperous for Georgians, regardless of where they live,” according to State Representative Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville).
Tanner, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, described the proposal as a compilation of legislative priorities and recommendations from the House Commission on Transit Governance and Funding.
“Many areas of Georgia, particularly in rural counties with high poverty rates, do not have adequate public transportation services that would allow residents’ access to workforce opportunities, education or healthcare,” said Tanner. “The 2019 House Transit Proposal seeks to consolidate and rebuild the complex structure that manages Georgia’s transit systems, while promoting economic investment.”
According to Tanner, the proposal includes legislative measures that would streamline the state government agencies that oversee Georgia’s transit, address opportunities for local and regional input, encourage innovation and private-sector investments and include new state funding to keep Georgia competitive. The legislative efforts in this proposal also aim to increase government efficiency and leverage greater economies of scale to help free resources for expanded transit investment.
Tanner was the driving force behind HB 930 last year, which paved the way for transit expansions in Gwinnett, Cobb and Fulton counties and much of the rest of metro Atlanta by allowing 13 metro Atlanta counties to impose a sales tax of up to 1 percent for mass transit. It also created a regional board to oversee transit funding and construction.
This 2019 Transit Proposal recommends the elimination of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and to replace it with the “Georgia Department of Mobility and Innovation” (GMobile). GMobile would serve as the lead agency for planning, funding and policy of mobility and transit, and it would consolidate the responsibilities that currently spread across six state-level agencies and authorities. The proposed legislative initiatives would also unify regional operating structures using “Mobility Zones” to deliver consistent services to regions across the state. The proposal’s funding priorities include transit SPLOST at the county level and a state sales tax replacement through a 50 cent fee per trip using taxi, limousines and ride-hailing companies and a 25 cent fee for pooled rides. Lastly, the proposal introduces innovative programs to incentivize local communities and the private sector to partner on creative new mobility solutions.
“This legislation is part of the House’s continuing commitment to improving transit across Georgia,” said Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge). “We recognize that a robust transportation network is key to economic opportunity in every corner of our state — urban, suburban and rural. I want to thank Chairman Tanner for his willingness to address this critical issue with thoughtful legislation and look forward to it moving through the legislative process.”
Tanner is chairman of the House Transportation Committee — , which is expected to take up the bill Tuesday. The bill is scheduled to be heard by the House Transportation Committee today. Tanner is Chairman of that committee.
The bill has already received opposition from the State Transportation Board — who on Monday, approved a resolution asking lawmakers to keep transit and the SRTA under GDOT’s purview.
However, on the same day, Uber issued a statement supporting the legislation.
To read all of InsiderAdvantge Georgia’s daily news, SUBSCRIBE HERE.