State Rep Proposes Macon-Atlanta Rail Line

5:58 PM, Feb 27, 2013   |    comments
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An Atlanta state representative is proposing a bill to create a new state authority to build and run a railroad line between Macon and Atlanta.

Keisha Waites, a Democrat, says she has filed House Bill 306, to create the Piedmont Altamaha Rail Authority.

The bill, she wrote, would give that authority the power to  build, operate and maintain a railroad.

According to her news release, the authority would be led by seven board members, with the Mayor of Forest Park, the Mayor of Macon, and the county commission chairperson for Bibb, Butts, Clayton, Henry, and Monroe counties each appointing one board member to the authority. Members would serve for three to five years initially, and be eligible for reappointment at the end of their term.

The authority would have the power to taken land by eminent domain for the route of the line between Bibb and Clayton counties.

Macon Mayor Robert Reichert, a longtime advocate of rail service to the city, says he was aware of the bill and supports it.

"I think it's exciting. I think the more people that you have that are looking at passenger rail service between Macon and Atlanta, the more enthusiastic people will become about the benefits that additional option would provide," Reichert said.

He said a train to Atlanta would give people more travel options and reduce traffic on Interstate 75.

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