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@Burroughston Broch @Rees Cramer Actually a major part of the problem is that the taxes we pay don't come close to funding the full cost of constructing and maintaining the road network.

The road network may get more funding than transit, but roads only get just slightly more funding than transit overall.

That's because our taxes (federal and state fuel taxes, local property taxes and vehicle registration fees) only fund between 25-50% of the costs of the road network.  The rest of the cost of the road network is funded with very-heavy borrowing from both domestic and foreign sources, a source of road funding that is unsustainable over the long-run and maybe over the intermediate term.

It's not our fault as taxpayers that the taxes we pay does not come close to covering the full cost of constructing and maintaining the road network.

The federal government did not peg the federal motor fuel tax to inflation and has not raised it since 1993 when it last raised it to its current rate of 18.4 cents-per-gallon.

And I think that the last time that the State of Georgia raised its state motor fuel tax (which also is not pegged to inflation to keep up with road construction and maintenance costs) was maybe 1983 when the current state constitution was ratified, though it may have been longer than that since Georgia's motor fuel taxes were last raised.

Heck, part of Georgia's state motor fuel tax does not even go towards road maintenance, but goes straight into the state's general fund.  Because of this, there has been a push to redirect that part of the state's fuel taxes that go into the general fund into the state's road network which is in danger of running out of money because the fuel tax is not pegged to inflation while vehicles continue to become more fuel efficient.

Because vehicles are continuing to become more fuel efficient, the funding ability of federal and state fuel taxes would be diminishing anyways.  But the fact that federal and state fuel taxes are not pegged to inflation makes the diminishing funding power of those fuel taxes even more severe.

14 hours, 36 minutes ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@mariasaporta @The Last Democrat in Georgia@1Downtown10 {{{"One can't expect a skeletal, underfunded MARTA system to accomplish that feat on its own - no matter how good its management may be."}}}

...Actually, Ms. Saporta, one could expect MARTA to accomplish the feat of remaking itself into a much more robust transit system on its own with good and competent management.

MARTA could initiate the process of becoming a much more robust transit system on its own by aggressively selling-off (through for-profit out-leases) its prime real estate holdings at, above and around its stations for the construction of lucrative revenue-generating large-scale high-quality high-density mixed-use transit-oriented development.

MARTA CEO Keith Parker has already initiated this process, but the transit agency needs to be much more aggressive in cultivating what will be an extremely-lucrative revenue stream in large-scale high-quality mixed-use transit-oriented development at and around stations.

Large-scale real estate development along transit lines is a revenue stream that has the ability to subsidize fares; fund a very-high level of transit service, operations and maintenance; and fund system expansions as-needed and as desired.

(...With large-scale real estate development, we're likely talking about billions of dollars in revenues for a transit agency that has teetered on the brink of financial collapse in recent years.) 

After initiating the process of becoming a much more robust transit system on its own by aggressively selling-off its prime real estate holdings, MARTA could then continue the process of becoming a much more robust transit system by instituting an inflation-indexed distance-based fare structure of roughly $0.20 per-mile in 2014 dollars (with discounts of $0.10 per-mile for economically-disadvantaged groups and with fares of no more than $0.30 per-mile in)

An inflation-indexed distance-based fare structure would generate more operating revenues at the farebox by encouraging much more use of the system for shorter trips (as one would have to ride 12.5 miles before paying the current trip fare of $2.50 under a distance-based fare structure of $0.20 per-mile) and collecting enough revenue to much more adequately fund longer trips and expansions.

16 hours, 58 minutes ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@mariasaporta @The Last Democrat in Georgia@1Downtown10

{{{"We are long overdue for the state and the region to begin contributing their fair share so we can have a much more robust transit system that will only make our region more competitive."}}}

...I don't necessarily disagree with this point, Ms. Saporta, it's just that Intowners, ITPers and Fulton and DeKalb residents have to comprehend and understand that if the state and the region begin contributing financially to MARTA, they are going to want A LOT more political and financial control over MARTA than Intowners, ITPers and Fulton and DeKalb residents would likely be comfortable with.

If the state and the region start contributing money to MARTA on the scale that Intowners and ITPers want, they are not going to just give money to MARTA without expecting anything in return. 

In particular, Northside Republicans in Cobb, North Fulton, North DeKalb and Gwinnett counties are going to want to takeover full political control of MARTA from South Fulton and DeKalb counties...

...And part of that Northside suburban takeover of political control of MARTA is most likely going to include selling the MARTA system and its lucrative assets off to private investors...that's just the political reality of the situation.


18 hours, 4 minutes ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@mariasaporta @The Last Democrat in Georgia@1Downtown10 {{{"It all comes back to MARTA never having had the kind of broad support from financial partners it needed to have strong regional transit system — that includes the state and the regional counties outside of Fulton and DeKalb. Believe me, the state and the rest of the region has benefitted tremendously economically  by having a MARTA system in place."}}}

...Ms. Saporta, that is an excellent point that the state of Georgia and the rest of the Atlanta region has benefitted tremendously economically from the existence of MARTA.

But as I mentioned before, MARTA did not need to have broad financial support from the state and outlying regional counties (particularly Clayton, Cobb and Gwinnett counties) to have a strong regional transit system.  Heck, MARTA did not even need the state and outlying regional counties as financial partners to have a strong regional transit system.

If MARTA was only allowed to operate in Fulton and DeKalb counties, then all that MARTA needed to do was operate in Fulton and DeKalb counties to the best of its ability.

Just by simply having prime real estate holdings in some of the most heavily-populated parts of Fulton and DeKalb counties and the ability to collect fares, MARTA has always had the ability to financially support itself without further assistance from an often-incompetent and inept state government and hostile suburban counties.

It's just that MARTA has never leveraged its prime real estate and fare collection assets properly.

The only real blame that lies with the state is that it did not force MARTA to properly leverage its prime real estate and fare collection assets to maximize revenue from the beginning. 

But then again how could the state be expected to force MARTA to properly leverage its prime real estate and fare collection assets to maximize revenue when the state doesn't properly leverage its own prime real estate assets in regards to properly funding the operations and upkeep of the road network it is responsible for.


18 hours, 21 minutes ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@mariasaporta @The Last Democrat in Georgia@1Downtown10 ...Those are all excellent points, Ms. Saporta, particularly your point that the entire community benefits greatly from the presence of mass transit.

{{{"When transit fares reach a level where they are so expensive, people will not ride it - causing less revenue for a system and all the negative consequences that come with it.  That's why cities and countries across the world, and states across our country, have chosen to invest in public transit - to help keep fares low enough so more people will ride it."}}}

...This is an excellent point, Ms. Saporta. 

Though under a distance-based fare structure where fares are indexed to inflation so that operating costs are always much more fully funded, the idea is not to make fares so expensive that people will not and cannot pay them.

Under an inflation-indexed distance-based fare structure where was collected at $0.20 per-mile instead of a flat $2.50 one-way no matter the distance, the idea is to collect fares much more effectively so that more operating revenue is collected from shorter-distance trips (by encouraging an increased amount of shorter-distance trips with fares that are lower than the current $2.50 one-way fare for those who travel fewer than 12.5 miles) and enough revenue is collected to help more adequately fund longer-distance trips and expansions (by collecting more fare revenue from longer-distance trips).

{{{"That's why cities and countries across the world, and states across our country, have chosen to invest in public transit - to help keep fares low enough so more people will ride it."}}}

...This is another excellent point as it is important to keep fares low so that people will ride mass transit.

But it is also important to provide a high level of service so that people will want to ride public transit and it is impossible to provide the high level of service that attracts riders if a transit agency does not collect enough revenue from the farebox and real estate revenues (from revenue-generating large-scale mixed-use transit-oriented development at and around stations, targeted Value Capture taxes, advertising revenues, etc). 

It is also important to note that county-by-county voter referendum-approved countywide sales taxes are not the only way for a transit agency to collect operating revenue. 

Countywide voter referendum-approved sales taxes can be a good source of startup funding for a transit system, but a transit system should not be dependent upon it for continued operating revenue as a 1% county-by-county voter referendum-approved countywide sales tax is not the only way to fund continued transit operations. 

Transit operations can be funded much more effectively with a robust mix of revenues from:

...Private investment (most notably real estate revenues from lucrative revenue-generating large-scale high-density mixed-use transit-oriented development at and around transit stations)...

...An inflation-indexed distance-based fare structure of roughly about $0.20 per-mile in 2014 dollars...  

...Targeted Value Capture taxes (Tax Increment Financing property taxes targeted to new development that pops up along transit lines; self-taxing Community Improvement Districts; Tax Allocation Districts).

...Value Capture taxes are much easier to implement than countywide sales taxes that need the approval of tax-averse and government expansion-averse voters because Value Capture taxes often don't need voter approval and they are targeted only at commercial development that lies along transit lines. 

Nor is a 1% county-by-county voter referendum-approved countywide sales tax the only way to fund the startup and expansion of transit operations. 

For a transit system in a very fast-growing large major metro region like Atlanta, private investment would likely be the best means of funding the expansion of transit operations at this point in time, particularly since revenues from voter-approved 1% sales taxes and state financial support are so exceptionally-difficult to come by.

18 hours, 50 minutes ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@atlman @Burroughston Broch@Rees Cramer {{{"MARTA has not had the resources for major expansion since it was originally built in the 1970s and without help from the state they are not going to get it. That is the whole point."}}}

...And the reason why MARTA has not had the resources for major expansion since it was originally built is because MARTA itself chose not to obtain the financial resources needed for proper upkeep and as-needed expansion.

It was MARTA that chose not to collect enough in revenue from the farebox and from its extremely-valuable real estate assets.

It was MARTA that intentionally depressed its fare structure and revenues from external sources like real estate development while basically demanding that the state fund its operations, maintenance and expansion.

MARTA does not need financial help from the state and has never needed financial help from the State of Georgia (which itself collects entirely too little in revenue to properly operate and maintain the road network).

With the farebox and the its prime real estate holdings at and around its stations, MARTA has always had the financial resources it needed to operate at a much-higher level and expand as-needed and as-desired.

It's just that MARTA itself chose not to properly utilize its valuable assets and the State of Georgia chose not to make MARTA properly utilize its valuable assets so that the transit agency could become self-supporting and profitable as needed.

Contrary to local popular belief, being self-supporting and profitable is not something that is optional. 

Being financially self-supporting, self-sustaining and profitable is a NECESSITY.

As we are now witnessing, if a transit agency like MARTA is not financially, self-supporting, self-sustainable and profitable, it eventually shrivels up and dies, particularly in this low-tax political environment where state government uses being low-tax as an excuse not to collect enough operating revenues from private investment and user fees.

21 hours, 28 minutes ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@atlman @The Last Democrat in Georgia {{{"And as I stated earlier, getting routine operating expenses from the state is not the goal of any MARTA backer but the welfare rights activist crowd. But getting state support to expand MARTA into North Fulton, south DeKalb, Emory/CDC and into Clayton County (if the referendum passes in November as expected) and ultimately into south Cobb to accommodate the Braves traffic nightmare should be done."}}}

...Those are good points, but one thing that MARTA supporters have to understand is that any state money to expand MARTA would likely have to come from the private sector at this point. 

That's because the money to expand MARTA to the places you named just simply does not exist within the state's coffers at this point in time.

Because, like MARTA, the state has collected entirely too little in operating revenue, the state is quickly running out of the money needed just to perform routine maintenance on the road network. 

With the amount of money needed to maintain the road network dwindling, the state most certainly does not have the money to pay for expansion of MARTA.

The only way that the state could get the money to pay to expand MARTA would be to take control of MARTA and sell it off to private investors who would be interested in developing the system's extremely-valuable real estate assets at and around its stations.

If MARTA wants to upgrade and expand its transit service without a state takeover of the agency, MARTA is going to have to come up with the money to upgrade and expand on its own by instituting a distance-based fare structure and selling off its real estate assets (through profitable term-leases) to private investors for the construction of large-scale high-density mixed-use transit-oriented development at and around its stations.

{{{" ITP people are going to have to pay plenty of their tax dollars to support the expanding of the Savannah port. So why should not the state do the same for MARTA, which is just as important to the state's economic picture as the port?"}}}

....The state is not going to do the same for MARTA because:

1) The state does not have the money to pay for expanding MARTA without taking it over and selling it off to private investors...

2) Conservative transit-averse suburban, exurban and rural voters outside of Fulton and DeKalb counties will not allow the state to spend existing tax revenues on a mode of transportation and an urban transit agency that they either are highly-skeptical of (due to MARTA's historically-poor operational and financial performance) or just outright dislike with a passion.

Though, those highly transit-averse suburban, exurban and rural voters would allow and even support the state getting the money to support MARTA by taking over MARTA and selling it off to private investors, especially if it means their outer-suburban, exurban and rural areas might get some kind of economic benefit out of the deal with the expansion of passenger rail service to economically-struggling outlying areas around the state.

22 hours, 4 minutes ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@atlman @The Last Democrat in Georgia

{{{"Oh please. GOPers and white flight suburbanites have been trying to take over and sell MARTA AND Hartsfield for decades. They only stopped trying to take over Hartsfield when the city obtained an expert legal opinion that the state would have to pay billions for the land and facilities. And it was only a last minute intervention from Keith Parker that caused Mike Jacobs to pull his bill that would have privatized much of MARTA in the 2013 legislative session."}}}

...Some notable elements in state government (most notably in North Fulton and North DeKalb counties) may have wanted to takeover MARTA and Hartsfield.  But those North suburban elements in state government have never really been serious about taking over Hartsfield. 

If those North suburban elements had been serious about taking over Hartsfield, they could have and would have easily gained the billions of dollars to take possession of the airport from the private sector.

And those North suburban elements in state government have only very-recently gotten serious about taking over MARTA when the transit agency went into what appeared to be a fatalistic state of steep decline toward financial collapse.

If the state was really serious about taking over MARTA, they could very-easily have done it many years ago with private money.  It's just that Georgia state officials (like most American officials) have had no real understanding of the critically-important concept of using private investment to finance and fund major transportation infrastructure projects up until very-recently.

Despite the low-tax rhetoric of conservative politicians, those conservative politicians still think that the only way to finance and fund major transportation infrastructure projects is through the conventional means of being solely dependent upon extremely-limited sales tax and property tax revenues.

But the real way (particularly in a low-tax political environment, but also in higher-tax political environments) to finance and fund major transportation infrastructure projects is with private investment and user fees.

With Hartsfield-Jackson being the busiest airfield on the entire planet, finding private investors who would provide the billions of dollars needed for the state to take the airport from the city would not be a problem.  Investors would literally be tripping all over themselves to finance such a deal that would likely be very-lucrative for them.

The North suburban state government political elements in North Fulton and North DeKalb counties just simply been too ignorant, lazy and incompetent to put together such a simple financial deal to takeover either the airport or MARTA up to this point.

- See more at: http://saportareport.com/blog/2014/04/a-marta-story-why-the-state-never-allocated-money-from-day-one/comment-page-1/#sthash.S52wIWlc.dpuf

23 hours, 4 minutes ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@Rees Cramer @Burroughston Broch {{{"Actually it (MARTA) does just fine, for a half built system that is taken advantage of and used by the suburban critic as the example of urban decay."}}} 

...Under Keith Parker's leadership, MARTA has begun to get on the right track fiscally and operationally.  But with the agency bleeding cash, with ridership in steep decline, and with routes and service suffering steep cuts, the state of MARTA in recent years cannot exactly be described as "just fine".

{{{"When the tax or toll is on the driving commuter causing the congestion it is penalty while when it is on the single mother of three who has no car it is a user fee.  We can just apply that $ 0.20 per mile distance based toll on the driver of each car that uses the freeway through Atlanta."}}} 

...This statement is symbolic of the type of thinking that has led MARTA to the brink of total financial collapse in recent years.....The thinking, even amongst MARTA's most ardent and loyal supporters, that MARTA public transit service should basically be aimed at serving the riders who are the poorest of the poor first-and-foremost.

Ensuring that our poorest citizens (particularly those who cannot afford private vehicles) have a way to get around is an honorable thing. 

But it does those low-income transit-dependent riders no good if the transit service they depend on financially collapses and ceases operation due to a severe lack of operating revenue.

{{{"We can just apply that $ 0.20 per mile distance based toll on the driver of each car that uses the freeway through Atlanta."}}}

...Distance-based user fees and tolling on Atlanta area freeways is an excellent idea. 

But the implementation of such tolling on freeways should not be to punish drivers, but to properly fund the operations and maintenance of the freeway network while encouraging higher levels of transit use by the commuting public where applicable in urban areas where road space is limited.

Also, with the I-85 HOT Lanes operating in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties, distance-based tolling is already in effect in metro Atlanta to the extent that HOT Lanes users pay as much as $0.50 per-mile during rush hours and peak-hours.

There are also plans to eventually expand the variable distance-based tolling model to all stretches and all lanes of the freeway system in metro Atlanta as a way of much more adequately funding the operations and maintenance of superhighways and encouraging increased mass transit use over the long-term.

Under such a universal distance-based tolling system on all controlled-access sections of highway, HOT Lanes and Managed Express lanes would continue to tolled at a much-higher rate during rush hours and peak hours while general purpose lanes would be tolled at anywhere in a range of between $0.03 per-mile during off-peak hours to $0.10 per-mile during peak traffic hours in 2014 dollars.

Business vehicles (corporate vehicles, trucks, etc) would be exempt from variable tolling and would only have to pay a fixed distance-based toll (of no more than $0.06 per-mile in 2014 dollars).

{{{"If Marta is to be such a self supporting and profitable entity than so should your precious "freeways"."}}}

...While I wholeheartedly agree with your remark that "freeways" (which are not really free) should also be self-supporting and profitable entities, you do know that MARTA being self-supporting and profitable would be a good thing, right?  

MARTA being self-supporting and profitable would mean that the agency would not have to beg a highly-incompetent transit-averse Georgia Legislature and highly-skeptical voters in surrounding counties for crumbs in hopes of staying solvent enough to keep operating at a modest level, much less be solvent enough to upgrade and expand urban transit service on the large-scale that it is needed.

{{{"You are not going to like it much when you really start paying the true cost of the road you use."}}}

...As I've alluded to before, the whole idea of implementing distance-based user fees on important pieces of transportation infrastructure (distance-based tolls on roads and fares on transit) is not to punish commuters or make transportation users dislike commuting.

The purpose of implementing distance-based user fees on roads and transit is to help much more adequately and fully fund the design, construction, operations, maintenance and as-needed improvement and expansion of critically-important pieces of transportation infrastructure.


1 day, 12 hours ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@Rees Cramer {{{"How about Atlanta, Fulton, and DeKalb residents get a better fair since we are paying for the system that suburban riders use.  We pay two dollars that pay 3.50."}}} 

...A better idea would be to phase-out the 1% countywide sales tax that is paid on most sales transactions in Fulton and DeKalb (and likely soon-to-be Clayton) counties...(...keep-in-mind that residents of other counties and states also pay the 1% sales tax that funds MARTA when they shop or make a sales purchase in Fulton and DeKalb counties...Also keep-in-mind that residents of other counties help fund MARTA when they pay a fare to ride MARTA).

The 1% sales tax would be phased-out by lessening MARTA's overdependence on the 1% sales tax by:

...Implementing a distance-based fare structure of about $0.20-per-mile in 2014 dollars (so that transit users would have to ride 12.5 miles before paying the current one-way fare of $2.50, helping the agency to collect more in farebox revenues from both shorter rides (by encouraging more shorter trips) and longer trips (by helping to fund longer trips and system expansions))...

...Vastly increasing the amount of revenue that the agency takes in directly from high-quality, high-density mixed-use transit-oriented development at and around its stations...

...Eventually eliminating the 1% sales tax and replacing it with revenues from Value Capture taxes (revenues from property taxes on new and existing development along transit lines).

{{{"I also think a congestion charge should be levied on people who drive into the city."}}}

...Funding transportation should NOT be about penalizing or punishing people who have to commute into one geographical area from other municipalities and geographical areas.

Funding transportation should be about collecting enough in revenue from ALL transportation users to adequately (or even more than adequately) fund the costs of operating and maintaining as needed critical pieces of public transportation infrastructure.

Instead of levying a congestion charge only on people who must drive into the city for work, shopping, socializing, etc (all important sources of revenue for the City of Atlanta) as a form of punishment or penalty on those who drive into the city, a much better idea is to encourage higher levels of transit use in a road-limited metro region and better fund transportation infrastructure operating and maintenance costs by implementing various levels of congestion pricing on ALL controlled-access roadways (in the form of cash-back variable electronic tolls on grade-separated highways that rise and fall with the amount of traffic on the roadway).

3 days, 21 hours ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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Intowners and ITPers may think that they want the state to fund MARTA's operating expenses, but do they REALLY truly want the state to fund MARTA's operating expenses?

Because "state funding" of MARTA's operating expenses in this political environment would most likely involve a state takeover of MARTA and a subsequent sale of MARTA to international private investors.

Intowners and ITPers should be careful what they ask for, because they just might get it...

4 days, 19 hours ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@1Downtown10 {{{"I hope this article will help the State understand the consequences of continuing to hold mass transit back.  Our future as a regional powerhouse depends on this mass transit."}}}

...I agree that mass transit will play a major role in our future as a regional powerhouse.  I also agree that state funding of MARTA would be nice. 

But it is not the State of Georgia that has been holding MARTA back, it is MARTA that has been holding itself back by not collecting enough in operating revenue at the farebox (by way of a distance-based fare structure) and by not collecting enough operating revenues from sources other than the 1% sales tax that it collects in Fulton and DeKalb counties.

If from its inception MARTA had been collecting revenues from its property holdings at and around its stations and along many of its bus routes (with the development of high-density mixed-use transit-oriented real estate development at and around its stations and along its bus routes), we most likely would not be having this conversation right now.

Instead we would likely be talking about expanding high-capacity passenger rail transit service to such outlying areas as Rome, Gainesville, Athens, Dalton, Macon, Columbus and the like.

It is MARTA which has made a conscious decision to completely starve itself of critical operating revenues by not properly and adequately harnessing revenue streams from the farebox and its extensive real estate holdings during an era of an explosive economic and population boom in metro Atlanta.

4 days, 19 hours ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@Guest808 I don't think that Ted Turner was in control of the Braves anymore when the current TV deal was signed.  In fact, I think that the current TV deal was signed years after he had lost control of the team and the organization.

3 weeks, 1 day ago on Ted Turner: ‘I wouldn’t have moved the Braves to Cobb County’

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@Wishing for Milton County {{{"Why is it that ARC is so focused on downtown Atlanta[?]"}}}

It's not necessarily just the ARC that is so focused on Downtown Atlanta, but most importantly it is also the State of Georgia (by way of the Georgia Department of Transportation) that is focused on building a major MMPT in Downtown Atlanta. 

GDOT is so focused on Downtown Atlanta because Five Points is the current hub and an important intersecting point for the 2 existing north-south and 2 existing east-west MARTA lines. 

Downtown Atlanta is also a focal point of Georgia's sports, entertainment, hotel and convention business as the Georgia World Congress Center is the 4th-largest convention facility on the North American continent.  Downtown Atlanta is also home to one of the largest clusters of hotel space on the continent. 

The Gulch area, Five Points and Downtown Atlanta was also a historical focal point for regional, interurban and interstate passenger trains in the pre-World War II heyday of passenger rail travel in the U.S.


{{{"WHO OWNS THE PROPERTY that this waste of taxpayer money is going pay for [?]"}}}

From what I understand, the State of Georgia (by way of the Georgia Department of Transportation) owns the land that the MMPT is slated to be constructed on in the future.

Also, from all indications, the plans seem to be quickly evolving to where the project will be paid mostly with money from the high-density, high-rise mixed-use commercial development that is planned to go up on and around the site of the future MMPT.

There will most likely be no choice but to fund the construction of the MMPT with private funds from real estate development at and around the site because the money to fund the project any other way just simply does not exist within state coffers and likely is never going to exist within state coffers from existing sources.


{{{"You cannot get to the "gulch" during the day.  There is no direct route.  MARTA is so poorly run that they can't even sync the trains when a basketball game is at Phillips Arena......I believe I read where the railroads are not keen to letting commuter traffic on "their" tracks."}}}

These are good points and these are also reasons why the state will have no choice but to build new rail capacity throughout metro Atlanta and North Georgia (in the form of new passenger rail-only tracks) if the new MMPT at the Gulch is to be able to be served by new passenger trains.

...Because there is not enough existing rail capacity to operate high volumes of both passenger rail and freight rail traffic at the same time as will be needed.


{{{"We have the largest airport in the world.  Train tracks run right across from it.  Focus on getting folks to & from the airport.......Especially local citizens who can't use rapid transportation (MARTA) to get to the INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL.  That planning was so bad.  What makes anyone at ARC think we trust them to plan the MULTIMODAL TRANSPORTATION HUB to NOWHERE!!!!!!"}}}

These are also really good points and some really good reasons why a second MMPT should and most likely will be constructed at or near the airport at some point in this evolving process as it continues to unfold.

It should also be noted that there are also very-early plans just beginning to emerge to extend some type of heavy rail transit service to the International Terminal side of the Atlanta Airport (especially with Clayton County expected to vote to join MARTA in November).

Though we should all keep-in-mind that these plans to implement passenger rail transit service on a much-larger scale throughout the Atlanta region and North Georgia are still in the very-early, infantile stages of development.

At this point, it will be many, many, many years before any of these passenger rail expansion plans come to existence.

By the time any of these plans actually come into being, this city, this metro area and this society will be very-different places. 

We're talking about a metro Atlanta where 8-10 million or more people will possibly be living, the state government will likely be very-different (urban and minority interests will be likely be dominant), MARTA will have evolved into something else much different and the freeways will have likely become impassable during much of the day by the time this thing is built.

...It will most-assuredly be very-different place and a very-different time by the time this thing becomes fully-operational.

3 weeks, 4 days ago on Traffic relief, transit upgrades funded in ARC’s five-year spending plan

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@BethS I agree.  Good stuff, Mr. Baxter.

1 month ago on Bo Callaway and the crossroads of modern Georgia history

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