Long resistant metro-Atlanta county votes on mass transit

FeaturesAssociated Press

Approval of a contract with Atlanta's public transportation provider that could bring a significant expansion of transit options is on the ballot in one north-metro county.

Gwinnett County's referendum Tuesday asks if voters want to authorize a contract with MARTA and impose a 1 percent sales tax for transit expansion.

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Advocates say approval will help alleviate traffic problems and air pollution from cars idling in rush-hour gridlock.

While the historically white, affluent suburban county has previously resisted a transit connection to the racially diverse center of Atlanta, Gwinnett County has transformed considerably in recent decades.

Between 1990 and 2016 the county grew from roughly 353,000 residents to 920,000, while the proportion of non-Hispanic white residents went from 89 percent to 39 percent.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.