Spinning our Wheels

Spinning our Wheels is a commuting blog about the challenges of getting around Atlanta by car, bus, MARTA, bicycles and on foot written by transportation reporter David Wickert

Ralston urges bold action on mass transit in Georgia


Speaker David Ralston sought bold action Thursday from a state House of Representatives commission charged with plotting Georgia’s mass transit future.

The commission began its first meeting with a cheerleading speech from the speaker, who said mass transit will be critical to economic development in the future.

“Over the last few years we have created a great deal of momentum that has propelled us to this moment,” Ralston told the commission.

Ralston won approval of a resolution creating the commission on the last day of this year’s legislative session after two bills that would have created similar commissions – one a House bill, the other a Senate bill – failed to clear the General Assembly.

Despite that setback, the speaker charged the group with thinking big, and signaled he’s open to regular state funding of mass transit – a holy grail of transit advocates.

“I am not of the opinion that the state must wholly control or take over a transit system to provide funding,” Ralston said.

The commission – a group of local and state elected officials and representatives of various transportation agencies – will spend the next year and a half discussing how to integrate mass transit into Georgia’s statewide transportation system.


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About the Author

David Wickert covers transportation issues for the Enterprise team. He joined the AJC in 2010 and has also covered local government in Gwinnett and Fulton counties.