The First-of-Its-Kind Transit Collaboration from Gateway85 and Tucker Summit CIDs Aims to Bridge Existing Travel Gaps for Area Residents, Workforce
As travel patterns have shifted in recent years to avoid traffic delays on I-285, US 78 and I-20, Jimmy Carter and Mountain Industrial Boulevards—a 17.5-mile stretch of road—has increasingly served as a fundamental link for Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties’ transportation networks.
According to a transit line feasibility study conducted by the Gateway85 and the Tucker Summit Community Improvement Districts (CIDs), real-time travel data accessed before the COVID-19 pandemic indicated nearly 1 million daily trips happen on or nearby the multi-lane, multi-city corridor. These trips are mostly made by workers, residents and freight drivers who pass through the communities daily. Yet, hampered by limited coordinated transit service between existing transit agencies, this corridor—and the more than 15,000 people who live and work along the route—has historically lacked good commuting options. Until now, that is.
A new, free transit route is coming to the Incredible Corridor. The Gateway85 and Tucker Summit CIDs—also working with Gwinnett County, DeKalb County and MARTA—plan to launch a brand-new transit line with four free-to-ride buses to connect hundreds of workers to their jobs along the corridor. The routes will provide direct, one-seat rides along Jimmy Carter Boulevard/Mountain Industrial Boulevard, between Doraville MARTA station and the Goldsmith Park & Ride in Stone Mountain.
This brand-new transit line is the first in the state to be planned and launched by partnering CIDs. The idea for a transit line was born out of the shared aspiration to find easier travel connections and reduce local roadway congestion. The CIDs embarked on a journey to build the case for a unified transit experience along the Incredible Corridor, conducting transit feasibility studies and coordination with partners and stakeholders to identify solutions for the unique transit gap.
The Service Will Put 15,000+ Potential Riders Within Close Reach of 30 Major Employers
The CIDs, who have long been conveners of public-private partnerships around transportation infrastructure, have already secured participation from 30 of the area’s leading employers. These businesses range from warehousing and distribution to retail and hospitality and largely employ shift workers. Involvement from these employers, who are included along the proposed route, signals the increasing value of transportation options to business operations.
In an announcement about the pending launch, Gateway85 CID’s Executive Director Emory Morsberger said, “I’ve spoken with more than 30 of the combined areas’ largest employers, all of whom need to attract and retain employees in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
To start, riders can use the transit line at no cost, made possible by the CIDs’ commitment to fund the service 100 percent. Morsberger also explained that the transit service is being designed to match, where possible, business needs. The transit line will run on a schedule built around common shift times and existing commuting programs.
“My goal is [to have the service] available at peak shift change hours along the Incredible Corridor,” Morsberger said. He also noted future plans to expand the service’s reach with employees who may live just outside the corridor by pairing the transit service with other workplace commuting programs, such as vanpooling and carpooling.
The Georgia Commute Options team is thrilled to see this project come to life later this fall, bringing an impressive service that expands access for those who need it most! Our partners at the Gateway85 and Tucker Summit CIDs shared that they are leaving the door open to identify and create additional stops to serve more area workers and residents. Contact us if you’re interested in adding your business or property to the route. We’ll help put you in touch with the CIDs and can also provide additional commuting support for your employees.