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Rockdale man named GRTA director
Chris Tomlinson - photo by Submitted Photo

Rockdale resident Chris Tomlinson was sworn in by Gov. Nathan Deal as the new Executive Director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.  

Tomlinson, who was unanimously approved by the GRTA Board of Directors, was previously the Executive Director for the State Road and Tollway Authority, the State of Georgia’s toll operator and transportation financing authority. He will continue to serve in that role while taking on the additional responsibilities of GRTA executive director. Kirk Fjelstul, GRTA’s deputy director, has been serving as acting Executive Director since February 2014 and will continue to serve as Deputy Executive Director and Chief Counsel.

“Both GRTA and SRTA share similar missions that focus on addressing congestion and mobility primarily in metro Atlanta, so more closely aligning their efforts under Chris’ leadership is a natural fit that will strengthen an already existing partnership,” said GRTA Board Chairman Sonny Deriso. 

GRTA is currently undergoing Direct Xpress – a full-scale evaluation of its existing Xpress commuter coach service and a strategic exploration of future opportunities for growth.  

“A key component of Georgia’s long-term transportation strategy is a comprehensive system of managed lanes throughout metro Atlanta augmented by commuter transit service like Xpress, which have been shown to be a cost-effective option for commuters that can improve reliability and throughput of the managed lanes,” said Chris Tomlinson. “Right now commuter buses make up less than 2 percent of the vehicles going through the existing managed lane on I-85 during the peak morning commute time but carry nearly 26 percent of the people moving through the lane. There is a great opportunity for GRTA and SRTA to build upon that success story, and I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of both teams.”  

Prior to being appointed Executive Director of SRTA, Chris Tomlinson served as Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel for SRTA.  He has previously served as General Counsel for several agencies including the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Georgia Technology Authority and the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission, where he also served as Deputy Director for the Construction Division. Tomlinson is a cum laude political science graduate from Morehouse College and holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Georgia State University College of Law.  

He and his wife Lillian have two children, Olivia and Grant, who attend Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology, Memorial Middle School and previously attended Conyers Middle School.