The Official Portal for the State of Georgia

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue


Transportation in Georgia

Georgia is the ninth largest state and is one of the fastest growing states in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, four of the ten fastest-growing counties in the nation are located in the Metro Atlanta area.   This unprecedented population and economic growth has brought about challenges of prosperity in the form of traffic congestion during commute times and freight mobility issues at our ports.  Yet Georgia is also ranked highly for the quality of our state’s multi-modal transportation network which includes very successful transportation assets such as:

Today, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA), State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA), Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), local governments, and other key players are working together to better understand Georgia’s transportation issues and improve the state’s transportation network for our citizens, business, and visitors.

IT3: Investing in Tomorrow's Transportation Today

Moving people and freight around Georgia is important to the state’s economy and quality of life. Our state's continued prosperity and growth depends on doing it well. Investing in Tomorrow’s Transportation Today (IT3), is an effort by Governor Perdue and the State Transportation Board that collaborates with and builds on the work of the Georgia General Assembly and others. 


The objective is to create the elements necessary for Georgia's transportation network to get people and freight where they need to be, when they want to go, and when they need to be there. The demand for an effective transportation network is higher than it has ever been and we must have a comprehensive transportation strategy that will make sure Georgia's success continues.


Establishing continued quality of life and ensuring future competitiveness through effective business planning are objectives of the IT3 initiative, which also include the following activities:


Timeline for Success

The IT3 initiative will transform the way we invest in our future from current transportation plans that are insufficiently improving mobility and quality of life to new strategic transportation investments that preserve quality of life and improve mobility statewide. It will transform long-term plans centered around project lists and expenditures to goal-oriented planning built on performance targets.

Planning processes will no longer start with only a bottom up “call for projects,” it will instead be a statewide planning process that emphasizes desired outcomes, then identifies state projects that accomplish outcomes.  This will create a balance of local, regional, and state priorities that will better serve Georgia. Instead of having a high reliance on federal funds and a motor fuel tax pool that is uncertain for the long term, the target is a resourcing strategy that is diverse, robust, and sustainable.   

FastForward Program:
Advancing Transportation Funding with Innovative Finance

In 2004, Governor Perdue implemented an aggressive plan that was the largest overall transportation investment the state.  Equating to approximately $2 billion extra funding per year, the FastForward program’s goals were to improve the quality of life for Georgians and spur the economic vitality of our state.

Governor Perdue brought the key transportation players together and asked them to develop a common plan, including the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA), State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA), Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), local governments, and other key players.

With the players, the principles, and the plan aligned, Georgia moved forward with a comprehensive transportation program for the 6 years. This $15.5 billion program to targeted congestion in metro Atlanta and aimed to promote economic growth. Its goal was to enable the state to construct in six years work that would have otherwise taken 18 years.

In keeping with the Governor's principle of allocating funds equitably, approximately half of the $15.5 billion will be spent in the Metro Atlanta Region, where half of all Georgians live. The other half of the funds will go to the needs of Georgians in other regions of the state.

The funding sources included:

The GO-GRB package was planned for funding projects similar to those in the 2003 bond package, focusing on arterial road improvements, express bus service, and the Governor's Road Improvement Program (GRIP) for Georgia's rural communities to expand economic opportunity.

Since it is critical for the state to move forward on projects that will provide short term relief while progress is made on long term solutions, GARVEE bonds were a new funding mechanism for Georgia that helped accelerate some much needed projects.

Freight and Logistics Task Force

Freight and logistics – the way products and materials are moved from point to point in the supply chain – is a critical economic driver throughout the state and in every county.  The Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force examined the current landscape and strategic future of Georgia's freight and logistics industry and the transportation infrastructure that supports it.  Input was taken from the state’s predominant users and providers of goods movement within and through the state.  In the Freight and Logistics Task Force’s Final Report, several recommendations were highlighted and categorized.  In tackling these recommendations, the following action items were created for each recommendation category:

Recommendation 1: Market Georgia's differentiating advantages in freight and logistics while increasing communication among public, private, and academic sectors.

  1. Promote Georgia's vision and mission for freight and logistics
  2. Hold an annual Georgia logistics forum
  3. Create a logistics marketing tool for state and local governments to promote logistics assets and attract new business

Recommendation 2: Establish a statewide "Freight Mobility Information Exchange" to allow industry to privately share data on a common platform and also serve as a data collection tool for use in future state infrastructure planning.

  1. Dual Purpose:

          i.       Improve supply chain visibility for Georgia companies

          ii.      Increase amount and accuracy of real time cargo flow

                  data for infrastructure planning purposes.

     2.   Explore models for implementing an information sharing platform

     3.   Address concerns of private industry

          i.      Security of proprietary data

          ii.     Potential use of data for regulatory purposes

          iii.    Cost of providing data

Recommendation 3: Identify and establish statewide freight corridors and hubs for use with future infrastructure investments.

     1.      Identify corridors by integrating data from origin/destination

              pairings, population changes, cargo bottlenecks, underutilized infrastructure and other sources. 

     2.      Broadly collaborate to improve connectivity across boarders

     3.      Acquire additional data to expand freight flow research activities

Recommendation 4: Promote and support workforce, training, and educational programs in order to develop regional talent pipelines to fulfill the freight and logistics industry’s current and future need for skilled workers.

     1.      Inventory and promote all educational programs supporting the logistics industry

     2.      Leverage successful workforce development initiatives—i.e, "Work Ready"

     3.      Develop early-state logistics curriculum beginning in high school

     4.      Determine specific gaps in workforce needs from industry; structure new

              curriculum to meet current and future requirements.

     5.      Encourage and support more regions applying for Work Ready grants.

Recommendation 5: Conduct a statewide inventory of public and private rail assets to support future investments where demand exceeds supply.

     1.      Include current condition and capabilities—trackage, weights, heights,

              speed and other growth constraints- and future demand

     2.      Review capacity available for passenger vs. freight in metro areas

              where rail is primarily for commuter use

     3.      Identify and consolidate other public and private sources of rail infrastructure information

Recommendation 6: Develop a demand-driven strategic statewide freight and logistics action plan in the context of a broader transportation plan.

     1.      Update freight projections based on new and more robust data

     2.      Benchmark freight-related action plans commissioned by other states

     3.      Apply short-and long-term vision with 5-year time horizons up to 25 years,

              updated every 5 years. 

     4.      Align system wide project prioritization and implementation with state and industry priorities.

     5.      Research performance measurement processes.

Recommendation 7: Initiate ways to make future infrastructure plans more durable and continuous across administrations and other changes in leadership.

     1.      Use core principles/goals to sustain changes and respond to the industry

     2.      Ensure accountability and evaluate interagency model such as SRTA

     3.      Solidify state strategies related to freight and logistics in agency policies

     4.      Set up procedures to amend policies and practices to align with market forces.

Recommendation 8: Create a business model for how best to support and grow the freight and logistics initiatives statewide freight and logistics initiatives

     1.      Evaluate existing resources for use in implementing statewide freight and logistics initiatives

     2.      Leverage public-public and public-private opportunities for innovative financing

     3.      Examine current revenue-generating practices, including Georgia's incentive

              structure, other states' best practices, new ways for ROI

              i.      Charter a focused team to identify funding sources and develop

                      pro forma investment, funding plans and ROI scenarios

     4.      Align feasible options with infrastructure requirements and schedule

Recommendation 9: Establish a focused freight and logistics division within the GDOT.

     1.      Continue to build early stage-state planning and communication between

              GDOT and GDEcD toward investment in transportation infrastructure that

              supports creation of logistics-related jobs.

     2.      Create GDOT community liaisons as single POC for outreach to industry

     3.      Evaluate other state's intermodal divisions to create performance indicators

     4.      Determine resource requirements and organizational dynamics for implementation.

Implementation of these recommendations is currently underway as a multi-agency effort of transportation, economic development, community development, and workforce development officials.  Activities will be taking place over an 18-month timeframe, with the first interim report due in January 2009.