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atlanta transit

Alison Guillory / WABE

Metro Atlantans have debated for decades whether to expand commuter rail lines into the suburbs, with many residents outside the city rejecting plans for expansion.

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But another form of public transportation -- bus rapid transit -- has quietly captured the imagination of many public officials.

Alison Guillory / WABE

The speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives indicated Thursday he'd support state funding for rail and bus transit.

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David Ralston made the comments in the first meeting of a House commission on public transportation. He charged the group of lawmakers and transportation leaders with developing recommendations for a statewide approach.

MARTA Chief Operating Officer Richard Krisak says $700 million in funding has been identified and approved for 250 new rail cars.
Alison Guillory / WABE

The collapse of an interstate in the heart of Atlanta has more than 2 million metro residents sitting in even more traffic in the already congested city, and mass transit advocates hope the headaches will spur new interest in expanding rail and bus routes.

 

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Many commuters come from surrounding counties that have long resisted mass transit, creating a car-centric region shaped by issues of race and class for more than four decades.

 

MARTA Chief Operating Officer Richard Krisak says $700 million in funding has been identified and approved for 250 new rail cars.
Alison Guillory / WABE

It's a long road to Congress finalizing the new federal budget. But under President Trump's proposed plan, Atlanta's transportation future could be at risk.

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When Atlanta voters approved a half-penny sales tax last year to expand MARTA, the idea was that the money raised could be used to draw in matching federal dollars.

Trump's budget proposal says it will cut off future funding for the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts program.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Wednesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

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