Clayton Goes For Busses, Not Rail, With Half-Penny Tax

The AJC’s Andria Simmons brings us news that Clayton County will ask voters – and MARTA – to let them levy a half percent sales tax to fund bus service, but stop short of a full percent that would have included a rail option:

Clayton County commissioners, in a 3-2 vote, opted to let voters decide in a Nov. 4 referendum whether to fund MARTA service within the county by paying a half-penny sales tax. The half-penny sales tax is expected to generate about $25 million.

MARTA officials have said that’s not enough to fund a rail expansion. But it could revive robust bus service as early as next year in a county that has been lacking local public transportation since 2010.

It’s unclear if the MARTA board will approve the Clayton’s participation in the transit system without the same level of sales tax support that Fulton, DeKalb and the city of Atlanta contribute.

MARTA Board Chairman Robbie Ashe told commissioners Tuesday he could provide no guarantees.

So, there’s the potential of expanding MARTA, but any short term expansion of the rail footprint will be in North Fulton, the Emory Corridor, or out I-20 toward Stonecrest Mall.


  1. In 2010 Clayton had a (non-binding) vote on their general election ballot:
    Should Clayton County become a full participant in MARTA… and levy a sales tax in support of MARTA and Clayton County’s public transportation needs?

    It got 70%. Come on Clayton County commissioners – the people have spoken. No half measures.

  2. MattMD says:

    Yeah, I have to agree you guys, either join MARTA or don’t.

    It looks like MARTA is not going to allow this, Clayton is once again showing their clown colors.

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