Heated debate over proposed bus service in Douglas County

- A petition opposing a proposed public transit system in Douglas County is at the center of a heated debate. Thousands of people have already signed it because they don’t want an additional bus service in their county. But many others said it would be a great asset and would help ease traffic problems.

The county wants its own public transit system, but many said they already have two bus systems in place; Rideshare vans at Park and Ride lots throughout the county and the Georgia Regional Transit Authority runs limited bus service out of Douglas County to metro Atlanta.

The original plan was for the bus service to offer two routes and it's since morphed into four routes with a federal grant to offset the cost.

Since word got out of this proposal, several people in the community have started an online petition opposing the bus system. As of Thursday afternoon, there were more than 3,500 signatures. It cites traffic, possible crime, and increased property taxes as reasons why it is not needed.

Douglas County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Kelly Robinson sent FOX 5 News the following statement Thursday evening:

“Economic Development is a top strategic priority for Douglas County.  The expansion plans of our existing multi-modal transportation system includes a a [sic] fixed route bus service is core to fulfilling that priority.  Earlier this week, the Board Commissioners passed incentive plans for a $100 million investment by T5 and a $2.5 billion investment for Switch, the single largest investment in the state's history, bringing the data center cluster in our county to 8, we believe that providing greater access to higher wage jobs is fundamental to sustaining future growth in our local economy.”

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