Cities and counties that once showed interest in an above ground, futuristic transit system are now reconsidering after the criminal past of the company’s founder has come to light.
In an investigative report, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed that Michael Stanley, who started the company Transit X, is a convicted sex offender. His crimes involve young girls and he changed his name five years ago to distance himself from that history.
Last year, Boston-based personal mass transit company Transit X pitched their idea to Henry County officials, saying they were ready to help clear the county’s streets of traffic by installing a 19-foot-high track—the same height as a traffic light—and sending commuters and consumers zipping along at speed limit rides in pods. At a town hall meeting around that time, Henry County Commissioner Bruce Holmes said the company was looking to create a route from Tanger Outlets (in Locust Grove) all the way to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Now, however, any future deals with Transit X in Henry County seem to be off the table.
“Henry County is no longer moving forward with Transit X in light of recently discovered information regarding Transit X’s founder and CEO Mike Stanley. I’m not concerned with Mr. Stanley‘s personal life, as enough people have already been terribly hurt from that situation. I’m only concerned about improving the quality of life for Henry County citizens,” stated Henry County Commissioner Bruce Holmes. “I look forward to continued collaboration with other transit, civic and government partners to explore creative alternatives for solutions to address mobility and transportation issues in Henry County as well as throughout the region.”
Others cities and officials that showed interest in Transit X, including Hapeville and College Park, have not stated whether they will continue to work with the company.
Michael Stanley told the AJC that he would be stepping down as CEO if they reported on his past. He added, “I did my time. This is a second chance. and I hope that people would respect that.”
Stockbridge Councilman Elton Alexander called Stanley a fraud after his criminal history was revealed.
“I was always extremely skeptical of Transit X as unproven pie in the sky. I advised our Stockbridge city officials not to sign off on Transit X while advocating for full participation and inclusion in the ATL Transit program including establishing a T-SPLOST in Henry County. Now our officials have egg on the faces in south metro for failing to complete the necessary due diligence required before signing a memorandum of understanding with Transit X turning over our rights of ways to a convicted sex offender. All this while inviting him into our community giving him a platform at public meetings potential placing our children at risk,” said Alexander.
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