Lt. Governor Cagle Unveils Measure to Prioritize Georgia’s Transportation Initiatives

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, along with the Senate Majority Caucus and Senate Majority Whip Steve Gooch, announced a bill that would create the Georgia Regional Transit Council to establish a statewide strategic plan to enhance transportation infrastructure.

“We are bringing all the relevant stakeholders together to ensure we maximize our state and federal funds, making our entire infrastructure safer and more efficient -- Georgians and visitors alike deserve nothing less,” said Cagle. “This issue drives economic development decisions and greatly affects the quality of life for Georgia’s families.”

The strategic plan for GRTC will include a road congestion relief proposal to develop a seamless transportation network with dependable trip times for commuters, additional limited access highways, safety enhancements and plans to adapt to future transportation innovations.  The council will hold public hearings and seek input from professionals in the field of transit services to determine a proper course of action.

“This council will provide a comprehensive plan for our state to implement 21st century methods of providing first mile and last mile transit options,” said Gooch. “We have to think big and look at the future of emerging transportation technologies. Options like autonomous vehicles, Uber, Lyft and ride share should be utilized and made available in rural and suburban counties, as well as metro areas.”

GRTC will ensure transit systems are operating to the best of their ability and exceeding the transportation needs for Georgia citizens.

“Every citizen in the state of Georgia relies on our transportation infrastructure and networks to move safely in and around our state whether they are going to work or simply running errands,” said Senate Transportation Committee  Chairman Brandon Beach. “For this reason, it is imperative that we bring together transit authorities and agencies from across the state to work as a unified body.”

The GRTC will be made up of three state senators, three state representatives, the GDOT Commissioner, the Executive Director of the State Road and Tollway Authority, CEO of MARTA along with County Commissioner Chairs from Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties. Additionally, the Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Savannah metropolitan planning organization chairs will also serve on this influential council. 

SB 6 is the sixth and final legislative priority for the Senate Majority Caucus.