One possible solution to Atlanta's lack of regional transit governance may have become less viable after a legal review found that the Atlanta Regional Commission may not own transportation capital assets.
Greenberg Traurig LLP conducted the pro bono review and found that under its current charter the ARC can only do what it's already doing now, namely intergovernmental planning and coordination. Because it may not own assets, any expansion of its role in transit governance, be it in systems operations or management of construction projects, may occur only as a contracted agent of a local government, or under a multi-government contract.
ARC planner Regan Hammond gave a rundown of the findings to members of the agency's Transportation Coordinating Committee this morning and will present them to the ARC's Regional Transit Committee, chaired by Mayor Kasim Reed, in more detail next week. Whether the ARC will pursue such government contracts will be up to the Regional Transit Committee. "At this point we're just presenting, and we'll wait for their guidance," Hammond said.