The Atlanta Regional Commission and cities in North Fulton County are currently collaborating on a “comprehensive transportation plan” to solve the persistent traffic issues in this part of the world. This is a great idea and I hope that the result of this collaboration will actually be productive but the closer I follow this process the less optimistic I become.
The main reason for my budding pessimism is that it is now clear many business and political leaders are convinced that public transportation will solve this area’s traffic problem. If the people participating in this process don’t understand that public transportation produces inefficient delivery systems then they will never be able to produce a transportation plan which will serve my families and my neighbors well.
I would like to point out an article that was published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2009. The article states that Georgia State University’s Economic Forecasting Center now predicts that Atlanta’s MARTA public transportation system will suffer losses of more than 1.4 billion dollars over the next decade (emphasis mine). Here is the link so you can read the whole thing:
Ladies and gentlemen 1.4 billion dollars is alot of money, even in today’s world of trillion dollar deficits. And there is no reason to believe that MARTA’s losses will stop at that point. MARTA is already drain on Georgia’s taxpayers and if we expand a failing system it will be even more expensive.
Right now our state is already facing enormous budget deficits. School systems are facing brutal choices because of the current economy. Do taxpayers really want to expand our financial commitment to a transportation system that has already demonstrated an inability to responsibly serve our needs?
North Fulton residents, business leaders and politicians must now answer this question: Are we going to be responsible for our own transportation solutions or are we going to risk our future on an insolvent bureaucracy that will burden us forever. I hope we choose wisely because the future is at stake.