Friday, August 9, 2013
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Clayton News Daily
JONESBORO — Half a million dollars in federal dollars earmarked for public transportation improvements in Clayton County will be used elsewhere in metro Atlanta.
The Clayton County Board of Commissioners unanimously gave the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority permission to spend $574,163 to make transit improvements to its system. The money comes from a 2009 Federal Transit Authority grant MARTA applied for on Clayton County’s behalf. The money must be spent before the grant expires Sept. 30, according to county documents.
MARTA’s service is primarily limited to Fulton and DeKalb counties. However, it does have one stop on the Clayton-Fulton county line at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
MARTA also previously operated the county’s C-Tran bus service from 2007 until the county had it shut down in March 2010. The grant money had been intended to pay for C-Tran’s operations.
“Clayton County has discussed the funding usage with the MARTA and the FTA and has requested, as much as practically possible, the funding be applied to locations and/or initiatives that are most beneficial to Clayton County citizens who utilize the MARTA system,” county transportation Director Jeff Metarko wrote in a legislative request form.
County officials announced last month they are preparing to do a feasibility study to look into public transit’s return to Clayton County. Whether that would be an expansion of MARTA into the county, or the creation of a stand-alone system remains to be seen.