Henry County Becomes the First in the Metro Region to have 100 Percent Participation from All Four Cities in a Georgia Commute Options Partnership
Something special is happening in Henry County. Over the last two decades, Henry—which is home to the cities of Hampton, Locust Grove, McDonough and Stockbridge—has held steady as one of the fastest-growing counties in Georgia. In 2020, Henry reached a total population of 240,700 residents, and it is projected to climb past 370,000 residents by 2050. The area has also been a magnet for manufacturing and logistics employers, and it has emerged as a crucial hub for transporting goods to and from the Port of Savannah.
This progress comes as no surprise for this south metro Atlanta county, which yields premium access to critical freight corridors, including I-75, I-675 and Jonesboro Road. This year alone, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) will break ground on seven major transportation projects in the county to support access and roadway demand. At the beginning of 2022, the Henry County Board of Commissioners adopted the Transit Master Plan. This multi-phased plan will add local transit and mobility hub options over the next three decades and expand access to an estimated 30 percent of employment opportunities in the county.
But it’s not just the area’s infrastructure nor its booming industries that are setting it apart. Alongside its city governments, the county is joining forces with Georgia Commute Options to create a shared vision for mobility in each of its communities.
Creating a Shared Vision for Mobility
The first step was marked by the Henry County Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Roundtable, held during summer 2021. Looking ahead to the area’s high potential for continued growth in coming decades, the Board of Commissioners’ Chairwoman Carlotta Harrell, in partnership with the Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Commute Options, convened the roundtable discussion with elected officials and government leaders from each of its communities.
The roundtable included full representation from all four municipalities, including Locust Grove Mayor Robert Price, Stockbridge Mayor Anthony S. Ford, Hampton Mayor Pro Tem Marty Meeks, Henry County Manager Cheri Hobson-Matthews, as well as managers and administrators from each of the cities. Representatives from Senator Raphael Warnock’s and Senator John Ossoff’s offices also engaged in the collaborative conversation. The group deliberated priorities for common transportation pain points—roadway congestion, transit access and regional connectivity, among others—and strategies to tackle these issues head-on.
“What I appreciated the most about the TDM Roundtable is that we as stakeholders are collaborating and discussing the best options and practices for the county and our cities,” Chairwoman Harrell said. “It gave us the opportunity to look at various options and discuss what is best for each of us by introducing new ideas as we continue to have discussions around transportation.”
Leading by Example
Building on the roundtable’s momentum, the Henry County government and its four municipalities started an employer partnership with Georgia Commute Options. Henry County and the cities of Hampton, Locust Grove, McDonough and Stockbridge are among the largest employers in their area. Through these partnerships, government employees will have access to commuter benefits and resources to improve how they get to work.
Their collective commitment makes Henry County the first in the region to have 100 percent participation by each of its cities in a Georgia Commute Options’ partnership. This sets a notable precedent for employers in their communities and government leaders across the region.
This move also signals a shared priority in commuting solutions that enhance mobility for citizens and area workers. As Chairwoman Harrell sees it, these partnerships are only the beginning.
“Additional transportation options not only create greater economic development opportunities, but will also enhance our quality of life,” Chairwoman Harrell explained. “The more people embrace alternate commute options, the greater the benefit is to Henry County and the Atlanta region. I believe that providing transportation options in our municipalities creates a better mobility solution for our rapidly growing community.”
Georgia Commute Options partners with cities, counties, chambers of commerce, Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) and employers to move the needle on mobility and air quality in the metro region. If you’re interested in bringing commuting services to your community, reach out to us.
Photo Courtesy Henry County Communications