Fayette invited to transit group; some (purse)strings are attached


The Fayette County Commission will discuss Thursday whether or not it will participate on the Regional Transit Committee established by the Atlanta Regional Commission.

In doing so, the county would be committing to take part in the regional transit planning process. But it also would be expected to “provide local funds to match available federal transportation planning funds, as determined annually by the RTC to be fair and reasonable,” according to the written agreement proposed by ARC.

The county could decline to provide local matching funds, but in turn would lose its voting status on the RTC, the agreement states.

The document also notes that Fayette County would be expected to coordinate transit planning with ARC, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and MARTA.

The invitation to participate on the Regional Transit Committee has been extended to Commission Chairman Herb Frady, as he is the official county representative on the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Presumably, a similar invitation will be extended to Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial, who was appointed Monday to serve as the ARC’s city representative for Fayette County.

According to ARC, all of the transit committee meetings are open to the public.

The ARC sets the region’s future transportation priorities for the federal and state funds available. Beyond that role, ARC has no political clout, save for its involvement in the legislative lobbying process and the development of the proposed regional transportation sales tax projects, which earmarks about half of its projected $7 billion take toward public transit projects.