Anthony Dukes, transportation planning manager for the Three Rivers Regional Commission, presented the study idea to the city commissioners at Tuesday’s workshop. Dukes said the transit feasibility study would help determine if the county needs to expand the current rural transit system or move to a urbanized transit formula.
The current system has 4-5 buses, Dukes said. The county, he said, “has been banking the transit money for a few years and there’s about $1 million, but we have to do the study first to unlock that money.”
He said the funds can be used with an 80/20 match for equipment or as a 50/50 match for operating the system. “We have to do the study to see what the potential is.”
City Manager Kenny Smith admitted to being “a little jaded by these studies. I wanted your input,” he told the commissioners. “We spend a lot of money updating studies.”
Dukes said the urbanized transit or fixed route system would be heavily concentrated in the city. Since both city and county would benefit, Dukes said the local matching cost of the study, $30,000, could be shared at $15,000 each.
Dukes said the Atlanta Regional Commission would conduct the study, but would need a letter of support from the city and county by Aug. 31 and have the funds available beginning July 2012. Because of that, Smith said the funding would come out of the next year’s budget.
Like the current system, there would be fare for users, Dukes said, but noted there are additional funding including advertising on and in the buses, should they go to a fixed route system.