Commissioners to Move Forward with $4.4M CCT Mobility Center
After cutting two South Cobb bus routes and one in Smyrna to save county funds, the Cobb Community Transit is hoping to build a new $4.4 million facility with federal funding.
Hundreds of people lost their main source of transportation when Cobb Board of Commissioners voted in July 2011 to cut three Cobb Community Transit routes to help close the county's $31 million budget shortfall. In April, the county commissioners have of a $4.4 million CCT Mobility Center, which would house paratransit and senior services vehicles as well as educate riders about transportation options.
Paratransit service, along the canceled routes, for people with disabilities also ended.
Transit Division Manager Rebecca Gutowsky said the funding for the new facility, formerly called the Paratransit Facility, would use federal dollars, not money from county taxpayers.
"It's two different pots of money," Gutowsky told South Cobb Patch. "That money couldn't be used to save those routes."
Do you think the county could find a way to restore the canceled routes? How are you dealing with the canceled routes in South Cobb and Smyrna or the canceled paratransit service? Tell us below in the comments.
Commissioners will vote Tuesday to approve a $250 variance application for construction to the City of Marietta, where the Mobility Center will be located, and is therefore subject to the city's zoning ordinances.
At the April 10, 2012 regular BOC meeting, commissioners approved the $4.4 million contract with CRS Building Corporation. The Cobb BOC first authorized a request for design proposals for the facility in January 2010, which is also when South Cobb's route 35 first began running.
CCT officials said the three canceled routes, including South Cobb's route 35 and Smyrna's route 70, had much lower ridership than other county routes.
In addition to canceling these routes, commissioners approved in August the second rate increase in a one-year period for the transit authority. The rates increased $1 for express routes and 50 cents for local routes, bringing the new costs to $5.00 for express routes and $2.50 for local routes.
Cobb Department of Transportation projected the rate increases would bring in about $606,000 more in net revenue.
The Cobb BOC regular meeting will be held Tuesday at 9 a.m. at 100 Cherokee St. in Marietta.