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Masked CobbLinc riders board a bus from the rear doors at the Cumberland Transfer Center in April.

A regional transit board has recommended nine projects for state funding, three of which are in Cobb County.

The Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority, or ATL, is recommending the projects be funded, in part, through the issuance of bonds. The three Cobb projects range widely in scope and cost:

♦ $500,000 for transit signal priority on CobbLinc bus routes running between Marietta and the Cumberland and Town Center community improvement districts.

♦ $6.25 million for ADA-compliant sidewalks, curbs, ramps and crosswalks along CobbLinc’s local bus routes in unincorporated Cobb County.

♦ $50 million for a new Cumberland Mall Transfer Center.

“This is a great first step in securing the money,” said east Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott.

Per state law, the ATL, is required to submit a list of recommended projects each September. Those projects have to be “regionally significant” and provide “high impact,” according to Erica Parish, head of Cobb DOT.

On Tuesday, the Cobb Board of Commissioners will consider a rezoning request from the owner of Cumberland Mall. The mall is seeking permission to build two 10-story office towers, more than 300 units of multifamily housing, additional commercial space, a new county fire station and, finally, the new Cumberland Transfer Center.

Ott referred to the current transfer center as a “kiss and ride lot” that “can’t really function as a depot or transfer station.”

A new center, he continued, would be a “true bus terminal”: indoors, with 10 bays, parking and easy access to I-285 and I-75. By making the area even easier to visit, the center would enhance its reputation as a regional destination, he said.

If funding were approved, the ATL estimates work on the sidewalks and transit signal priority could begin in fiscal year 2022, with the former wrapping up 2028 and the latter in 2023. Work on the Cumberland Transfer Center, meanwhile, could begin in fiscal year 2025 and end four years later.

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