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GPTC expands transit training facility

CONYERS — Georgia Piedmont Technical College is getting ready to start construction on a new addition to the school’s campus, one that will train students for careers in the transportation field.

The expansion of the GTPC Transit Training Facility will begin with a groundbreaking ceremony at 2 p.m. Thursday, hosted by the school’s president, Jabari Simama.

Partnering with the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and other major transit systems throughout the metro area, GPTC will begin construction on the facility’s expansion.

“President and CEO of MARTA, Keith Parker, will be there,” said GPTC Director of Public Relations Zaundra Brown.

With the goal of preparing students to operate buses and trains utilized by MARTA, the growing Atlanta transportation system will partner with GPTC in an effort to train potential employees. According to www.progressiverailroading.com, MARTA adopted a $415.6 million operations budget and $470.1 million capital budget in June for the fiscal year 2015, which includes a 19 percent increase in rail service hours.

In addition to transit systems, the GPTC facility’s expansion will train students for careers in truck driving. Richard Smith, GPTC vice president of Economic Development, said, “It just enhances an existing program and gives people a greater opportunity to have careers in that field.”

Smith went on to add that the transit training facility’s addition is expected to be completed in less than a year. The groundbreaking ceremony will be located at 6720 Marbut Road in Lithonia at the Regional Transportation Training Center.