Cobb DOT talks bus line to link area universities
by Sarah Westwood
June 27, 2014 04:00 AM | 3444 views | 8 8 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Faye DiMassimo
Faye DiMassimo
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MARIETTA — A new bus route could ferry Kennesaw State University students to other universities in Atlanta and Cobb as early as fall of next year.

Faye DiMassimo, head of Cobb’s transportation department, spoke about the proposed transit line, called Route 10X, at the Board of Commissioners meeting this week, where the board voted 4-0, with Commissioner Bob Ott absent, to allow the department to begin requesting proposals from consulting firms that could help guide the project.

She said the route would link the Kennesaw State campus, Life University and the Southern Polytechnic State University campus with Georgia State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Savannah School of Art and Design and other destinations in downtown Atlanta.

Eric Meyer, planning manager for Cobb DOT, said he hoped the department would have a consulting firm under contract by October.

The firm would determine the amount of money Cobb would need to operate the line, Meyer explained, noting he could not yet estimate how much such a project would cost.

DiMassimo said the county could shell out $100,000 or more to fund the consultant’s contract.

Officials said Route 10X would relieve CCT system’s highest-traveled route, Route 10, which runs along Cobb Parkway.

The new line would keep travel times shorter by limiting the number of stops it includes along its route to only those deemed most essential to riders.

Kyethea Clark, planning and development specialist at Marietta’s development services department, said commuters from Atlanta or Gwinnett County to Kennesaw State can spend more than two hours on the road due to numerous bus stops along Cobb Parkway.

The proposed bus line remains in the early stages of planning, Meyer said. He noted hiring the consulting firm would go a long way toward hammering out the details of Route 10X.

“We’re going to flesh that out, try to get a better understanding of what sort of demand there is,” he explained.

Part of the firm’s job will be to conduct a study to gauge public interest at various potential bus stops in a study that Meyer estimates will take no more than nine months to complete.

“The study will determine what that route is,” he said.

Clark said the project would be county-led and paid for through grant funds and local matches, including from the universities themselves.

She drew a distinction between Route 10X and the county’s plan for a bus rapid transit system, a proposed line to link Kennesaw State with Midtown Atlanta.

Chairman Tim Lee implored his fellow commissioners and city mayors last week to consider supporting the addition of a $100 million line item in an upcoming SPLOST list to make sure BRT gets federal funding.

Clark said Route 10X would be designed and marketed toward college students in the area, while BRT would have the “larger goal” of providing a transit system between the county and Atlanta.

She said the university route would offer all the “bells and whistles” students might like to see on their public buses, such as Wi-Fi, GPS and a mobile application that allows riders to access a transit schedule in real time.

She also noted Route 10X buses could be hitting the streets before those of BRT.

“Because we’re looking at doing a study, that might be able to come on line sooner than the BRT,” Clark explained.

“If the demand is shown when the study is completed, if it is determined that there is demand for this particular route, then it could be a little ahead of the BRT system.”

Clark said the idea for Route 10X emerged from a recent study completed by the city of Marietta through a partnership with Life University and Southern Polytechnic State University.

According to Clark, the study aimed to answer the question “How could the university gain visibility along Cobb Parkway?”

Comments
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Maryanncc
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June 30, 2014
No need for a consultant, we have many employees who live in this area that would be thrilled to ride public transit - find us a place to park our cars on Cobb Parkway (or Atlanta Road) and we will ride that 10X bus for sure!!
anonymous
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June 27, 2014
Who the heck travels from school to school? NO ONE. Connecting schools makes absolutely NO sense.

But, since the BRT crap that Tim Lee is selling for SPLOST is rotting, using the facade of "schools", he is going to create a new bus line down Cobb Parkway that they will then use as a place marker for (eventually) another go at lite rail.

Its the same gig. Just a different wrapper. Tim Lee and Faye Dimassimo and the Chamber of Commerce are trying to poke light rail down our throats.

Marcus Ash
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July 01, 2014
With the KSU and SPSU merger there is actually going to be a lot of traveling between the two campuses. And many staff and students live in Atlanta so a link there would be very beneficial.
Cobb Reader
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June 27, 2014
Kennesaw's BOB can handle this with about five minutes worth of planning - if it is necessary at all ???
Watcher...
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June 27, 2014
What another waste of Cobb Taxpayer Money!

Bureaucracies spend much of their time creating ways to wasting money.

I wonder just how many "Students" go to more than one College or University?

I have a novel idea for the CCT bureaucracy: Raise Fares for CCT Riders to reduce the Cobb Taxpayer SUBSIDY!
moliere
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June 27, 2014
Four caveats.

1. SPSU no longer exists. So it is just KSU and SPSU.

2. Life University is near KSU, Marietta STEM campus (formerly SPSU). So it would likely require only one stop to serve both to cut costs.

3. Why focus only on the 4 year colleges? This should involve the 2 year colleges in Cobb and Atlanta too, such as Chattahoochee Tech, Atlanta Tech and Atlanta Metro. And even among the 4 year colleges, I noticed that the private school in Cobb (Life) was included but the many Atlanta private schools (Emory, Morehouse, Spelman, Clark Atlanta, Point) were excluded even though lots of Cobb students attend those schools or would potentially want to take classes there.

4. Finally, if this thing is going to run to Atlanta, then we should presume that Atlanta students will use it to attend KSU (both campuses) and Life, and professors/staff will use to to ride to their jobs. If that is the case, then Atlanta should pay their fair share, at least 1/3 of the project, also. I realize that this may make the project less politically popular among some delusional right wing constituencies, but it is the right thing to do.
JR in Mableton
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June 27, 2014
Good idea!!!
west Cobb 4
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June 27, 2014
I like the idea of a University Link bus route. Why not just pick a few locations and give it a go? $100K for a study? Surely a few leaders and staff in the CCT could map out a trial route and use social media, the MDJ, and some flyers to advertise to students. Let them know it's a trial good for one semester and test it out. If it's liked then add the bells and whistles later. This could be up and running at the start of the next semester in a month.
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