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Feds find funds for transit

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The U.S. Senate has $44 million in its transportation funding bill for projects that would ease congestion in metro Atlanta.The money includes $16 million to pay for Marta's rail line extension to North Springs, $10 million for new natural gas-powered Marta buses, and $8 million for the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority's bus system in 11 metro counties.

Those funds would be a boost to a region that's desperate for transportation alternatives.

Getting the money isn't a guarantee however. Right now, the funds are in an appropriations bill that still has to be approved by the full Senate. That vote could come as early as this week. Then, the Senate will have to wrangle with the House of Representatives over how transit monies will be divvied up. That skirmish will likely happen in September after Congress returns from recess.

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