Connect Gwinnett: Transit Plan
Connect Gwinnett: Transit Plan
Final Plan Overview
The original Connect Gwinnett Transit Plan was modified in 2020 with input from the Transit Review Committee. The original plan was the basis for a roadmap for how the County would like to develop its transit networks to serve current and future needs. The plan’s goal was to establish a countywide vision with broad-based support for future dedicated transit funding/implementation as well as to make transit a mode of choice for work and leisure trips.
The plan has the following four phases (three financially constrained and one unconstrained):
- Short-Range Plan (Years 0-5): modifications that improve service and ridership while reaching key untapped markets of latent demand.
- Mid-Range Plan (Years 6-10): service enhancements that expand transit accessibility and desirability with efficient service and infrastructure improvements.
- Long-Range Phase 1 Plan (Years 11-30): investments that will allow the County to enhance the lives of its residents through the provision of high-quality and sustainable transit while meeting the needs of the County’s projected economic and population growth.
- Long-Range Phase 2 Plan (30+ years): market-driven service extensions and upgrades that build on the Long-Range Phase 1, including additional high-capacity transit service not constrained to the 30-year financial projections.
What Did the Planning Process Look Like?
The Comprehensive Transit Development Plan had four major phases of planning: 1) Vision and Priorities/Existing Conditions, 2) Alternatives Development and Analysis, 3) Project Prioritization and Financial Evaluation and 4) Final Recommendations.
To further the team’s technical analysis, the Connect Gwinnett team conducted two rounds of public outreach. The first round of public outreach was tied to the development of a vision and priorities for the plan, as well as the existing conditions and alternatives/needs identification phases. The second round of public outreach focused on the prioritization of specific routes and mode types, and input collected during this round of outreach helped determine which projects to prioritize and how to best allocate constrained funds. Across both rounds of outreach, the team attended nearly 30 community events; conducted a Saturday bus tour to 12 locations across the County; invited stakeholders to 10 targeted focus group meetings; circulated two rounds of online and paper surveys (available in four languages), which were taken by more than 5,600 people; administered a scientific phone survey to 1,000 Gwinnett residents; and hosted 6 public open houses.
What are the Plan’s Goals and Priorities?
The plan outlined three overarching goals each supported by three priorities. The overarching goals are:
- SUSTAINABILITY – Preserve and promote social and environmental character through an integrated strategy that addresses transportation solutions.
- Environment – Encourage the reduction of air pollution, fuel consumption, and impacts to natural resources by providing/enhancing more sustainable modes of transportation.
- Economic Development – Influence economic development patterns by providing an enhanced transportation network to better connect population, employment and commercial centers.
- Congestion Relief – Reduce congestion and/or the demand to increase roadway capacity for automobiles by encouraging transit use.
- STEWARDSHIP – Utilize available resources in an efficient manner to meet the transportation need.
- Equity – Increase the mobility of those with limited financial or traveling capabilities by focusing service on the mobility needs of disadvantaged communities.
- Productivity and Efficiency – Use constrained financial resources in the most cost-effective manner while maximizing ridership.
- System Maintenance – Continuously maintain existing capital investments to achieve a state of good repair.
- SERVICE QUALITY – Enhance the desirability and utility of the transit service for Gwinnett residents and workers.
- Coverage and Connectivity – Expand the number of communities and destinations served to increase transit accessibility.
- Travel Time Reduction – Make the transit network more competitive and effective for its users through capital and operating investments.
- Reliability – Increase the reliability of the transit network through investment in priority treatments, technologies, safety and operations.
Stakeholders and the public identified Coverage and Connectivity and Congestion Relief as their top two priorities. Travel Time Reduction, Reliability and Economic Development rounded out the priority list.
What Does the Connect Gwinnett: Transit Plan Include?
Connect Gwinnett includes project and policy recommendations focused on advancing transit in Gwinnett County.
The team estimated that approximately $5.4B (2018$) can be raised through a 30-year 1 percent sales tax. Using these local revenue projections supplemented with farebox, federal, state and other funding sources, the team developed constrained project tiers for the Short-Range, Mid-Range and Long-Range Phase 1. A fourth market-driven tier, Long-Range Phase 2, was financially unconstrained.
The four phases include capital and operating assumptions for projects ranging from high capacity transit (heavy rail extension, bus rapid transit [BRT] and rapid bus corridors, as well as a potential BRT to light rail transit conversion) to commuter services (express commuter bus and vanpool) to local bus and flex/on-demand service to paratransit for those with mobility challenges.
In addition to project recommendations, the plan includes policy recommendations regarding fares, bus stop standards and design guidelines, paratransit/human service transportation operations and delivery strategy, technology considerations, multimodal access to stations and transit-supportive land uses.