Transit Development Plan
Transit Development Plan
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Transit Development Plan
The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners approved the Transit Development Plan in anticipation of the county’s population and economic growth. The plan identifies short- and long-term recommendations for the county’s transit system. It addresses the system as a whole and includes capital priorities, operational improvements, and supporting infrastructure.
The plan comes at an important time for the county given growth, demographic shifts, increasing congestion, ongoing construction, and large redevelopment opportunities. The plan also offers a fresh perspective and highlights the benefits that transit improvements have on people’s lives — whether it’s enhancing access to job opportunities and education, improving health and well-being, or fostering economic development.
Take a look at the Transit Development Plan to learn how these improvements will benefit you and provide enhanced access to more places, more jobs, and more opportunities.
Vision and Goals
The vision of the Transit Development Plan is to enhance mobility for all by providing the right service in the right places.
The plan aims to:
- Increase mobility options for all Gwinnett residents
- Improve access to mobility options to connect people to more places and jobs and support economic development
- Enhance the user’s experience by making transit easy, safe, and comfortable to use
- Create vibrant multimodal places that generate a variety of activities
- Minimize environmental impact by reducing cars on the road and using cleaner technology
- Provide information about mobility alternatives and their benefits to residents
The Transit Development Plan was led by Gwinnett Transportation over 18 months from summer 2022 to fall 2023. It was a community-led planning effort driven by engagement and backed by data-informed technical analyses.
There were three primary phases:
- Phase one: Involve the community in developing the plans vision, goals, and priorities
- Phase two: Engage the community to identify transit needs, confirm where there are gaps, and vet early strategies to address those needs and gaps
- Phase three: Obtain community feedback on draft recommendations and their relative priority
Key takeaways were:
- Safety and comfort: The preference is for safe, comfortable, and convenient transit.
- Microtransit: Strong support for community-focused transit for everyone.
- High-capacity corridors: A desire for innovative transit solutions that help the economy and reduce traffic.
- Balance: The transit plan should find a balance between serving more areas and providing top-quality service on important routes.
- Connectivity: Easy travel within the county and access to job centers are essential.
- Land use: The way we use land around transit significantly impacts its success.
Challenges and Opportunities
Today’s lack of mobility options has had significant negative impacts on Gwinnett’s residents and businesses — including increased commute times and costs. With nearly 1.5 million residents expected by 2050, congestion will continue to worsen, and commute times and costs will continue to increase.
- Only 11 percent of Gwinnett’s residents are within one-quarter mile of a Ride Gwinnett bus stop.
- Less than one-quarter of all jobs in Gwinnett County are within one-quarter mile of a Ride Gwinnett stop.
- Large areas of Gwinnett are unserved by transit but have the land use and density to support transit service.
Additionally, Gwinnett County is transitioning to a younger population compared to the national average. As young people enter the workforce, they are looking for more choices for transportation rather than just single-occupancy vehicles.
Understanding Existing Conditions, Gaps, and Needs
The Transit Development Plan’s recommendations are built on key factors including population, employment, income, age, car ownership, travel patterns, and our existing transportation network.
When assessing current conditions, the plan found that:
- Economic activity and population density varies across the county.
- Addressing transportation challenges is vital for economic development and an exceptional quality of life.
- Current transit service is predominantly in the southwestern to central part of the county.
- Dedicated transit lanes and technology are essential to address perceptions of unreliable and slow transit service.
- Service typically stops before 10:00pm or is limited to Monday to Saturday, reducing transit convenience and appeal.
The plan also identifies that potential Ride Gwinnett users, even in the densest parts of the county like Buford, Duluth, Mountain Park, and Suwanee, lack access to it.
These findings guide necessary transit improvements and expansions to meet community and business needs. Additional data can be found in the Executive Summary.
Providing the Right Transit Options
To improve transportation in the county, we need more than one way to get around. People in different parts of the county want transportation options that work for them. Rural, suburban, and areas that are being redeveloped should also be given ways to move that fit their community and how it’s growing.
If the Transit Development Plan is implemented, transit will connect more suburban and rural communities of the county to jobs, shopping, education, and entertainment, reducing the need for long car trips on congested roads.
Gwinnett residents are excited for enhanced transit services, improved local and regional connectivity, and accompanying infrastructure like sidewalks and passenger amenities that support the high-quality system.
The Transit Development Plan provides recommendations that will connect transit to more places, and it accounts for anticipated growth in areas like Rowen, Gwinnett Place Mall, OFS, Gas South District, and more.
Shared ride, also referred to as microtransit, is a flexible, on-demand service where riders can use an app to request and pay for their ride. The service will:
- Operate 18 hours a day, seven days a week with a maximum wait time of 20 minutes
- Serve 100 percent of Gwinnett by 2033
- Be available in key destinations like the Mall of Georgia, Sugarloaf Mills, Stone Mountain, and more
The service is currently available in Snellville and Lawrenceville.
County ride, also referred to as local fixed-route service, has consistently spaced bus stops and a set schedule. The service will:
- Operate 12 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week with 15- to 30-minute headways, the average time between scheduled trips on a route
- Allow riders to transfer to other routes and services
- Expand to add 18 routes between 2027 to 2043
- Be available between Stone Mountain and Loganville, Suwanee and the Gwinnett Place Transit Center, and Dacula
Quick ride, also referred to as bus rapid transit lite, is a high-frequency service that will move more people quickly with bus priority improvements. The service will:
- Operate 12 to 18 hours a day, seven day a week with 15- to 20-minute headways
- Have eight routes implemented by 2036
- Include transit signal priority, queue jumps, and enhanced stops
- Provide connections between Peachtree Corners and OFS, Gwinnett Place Mall and Snellville, Sugar Hill and Gwinnett Place Mall, Lawrenceville and Centerville, and more
Rapid ride, also known as bus rapid transit, moves large numbers of people to their destinations quickly and with high frequency. Compared to the quick ride service, rapid ride has limited stops, bus-only lanes, transit signal priority, queue jumps, and off-board payment. The service will:
- Operate 18 hours a day, seven days a week with 10- to 15-minute headways
- Begin in 2036, traveling from the proposed Lawrenceville Transit Center to the Doraville MARTA Station
- Serve major activity centers along the route, including Northside Hospital Gwinnett, Sugarloaf Mills, Gwinnett Technical College, Gas South District, and OFS
- Use Hurricane Shoals Road, Duluth Highway, Sugarloaf Parkway, Satellite Boulevard, Jimmy Carter Boulevard, and Buford Highway
Airport ride will provide two connections from Gwinnett to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The service will:
- Operate 14 hours a day, seven days a week with 60-minute headways
- Begin operation in 2027 with two routes in Snellville and the I-985 Park and Ride
Transit Transfer Facilities
Transit transfer facilities will allow customers to connect to other routes and travel modes, including small, medium, and large transit transfer facilities.
Two large transit transfer facilities are currently underway at Gwinnett Place Mall and in Lawrenceville.
The Transit Development Plan aims to:
- Provide an alternative to congested roads
- Reduce parking demands and congestion
- Offer safer options than driving
- Reduce transportation costs for all users
- Give an alternative to building new roads
- Improve mobility for non-drivers
- Lower dependency on oil and gas
- Reduce transportation emissions
Currently, Ride Gwinnett’s transit system is funded by:
- Gwinnett County property owners through the County general fund
- The federal government through federal formula funds and discretionary grants
- Ride Gwinnett customers through fares
The Transit Development Plan proposes a transition away from annual property taxes towards a 1 percent dedicated sales tax – the most common funding source used nationally for transportation. This sales tax would be paid by all consumers that purchase goods within the county, shifting the burden away from Gwinnett’s property owners to all residents, businesses, and visitors.
Within the first 10 years, this Transit SPLOST would deliver:
- 100 percent countywide shared ride service
- 115 miles of quick ride service
- 26 miles of rapid ride service
- 20 transit transfer centers
- Two airport ride connections
- Nearly 346 miles of county ride service