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Georgia senators work to expand public transit, including MARTA

Metro ATL

Georgia senators work to expand public transit, including MARTA

Photo provided by MARTA

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock introduced legislation on July 30 that would expand transit service, reduce wait times and modernize public transit systems across Georgia and the nation.

The Expanding Transit Service Act, which was co-sponsored by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Ca.), will give transit operators more flexibility and allow federal funding to be used for operating costs, maintenance costs or service-related expenses for the first time, according to a press release.

“Increasing flexibility for how we can spend federal formula funds will allow MARTA to better balance all the sources of revenue to maximize the benefits to our customers,” said Jeffrey A. Parker, General Manager and CEO of MARTA.

The bill will help reduce wait times for buses and trains, expand service hours or days on current routes, expand routes and provide service to new routes, making transit more accessible.

“We must make a historic investment in our infrastructure to make public transportation more reliable, accessible, and affordable for all Georgians,” Ossoff said in a press release. “Sen. Rev. Warnock and I know reliable transit is key to economic growth, and this legislation is a game changer to expand transit service for all Georgia communities.”

Warnock added that he and Ossoff are focused on passing the legislation to increase accessible and affordable transit options throughout the state, which is one of their top priorities.

“This legislation will give our transit authorities the resources and tools they need to improve transit options for working people, which will not only help increase connectivity and mobility in our communities but also help keep our local economies growing strong,” Warnock said in a press release.

In addition, Sen. Ossoff recently introduced the Local Transit Planning Support Act, which would increase funding to plan transit and transportation development in both low-income and low-density areas. He also secured commitment from U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to help MARTA expansion efforts, the press release said.

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