This is another chapter in my continuing response to commenter Paul. In this chapter I will try to sort through the following paragraph to make some sense of the claims and arguments and then answer them to the best of my ability.
“You say MARTA is “a government subsidized pseudo-monopoly.” Again, I refer back to the absolutely massive amounts that are spent on roads. Yes, roads are used for transport of food and goods, but so is rail. The amount spent on public transit in this country is absolutely nothing when compared to the amount spent on roads. Your statement that private sector companies would step in if there wasn’t a governement “subsidized” transit system has shown to be false over and over again. Look at cities without rail transit – where are the private lines? Why hasn’t some private developer built transit lines where there is no government competition? In fact, there is only one place in the entire country where that has happend – the “South Shore Line” in Northern Indiana/Illinois, and even that recently had to receive government money to stay afloat. Long gone are the days of private streetcars.”
Commenter: “Again, I refer back to the absolutely massive amounts that are spent on roads. Yes, roads are used for transport of food and goods, but so is rail”
Response: Surely you jest. As I pointed out before roads are the lifeblood of our entire society. To compare roads to public transportation is patently absurd and it shows that you are grasping at straws. “Massive amounts” are spent on roads because everything you need to survive is dependent on functioning roads. Roads are not an option they are a necessity. Public transportation would not exist if not for the roads that buses and cars use to reach the train station. Railroads do transport goods but they don’t deliver them to stores and unless MARTA has started a freight service it is just silly for you to bring up railroads in a discussion of public transportation. Also, roads are paid for by user taxes. Every gallon of gasoline sold in Georgia costs 50 cents more because of federal, state and local taxes.
Commenter: “Your statement that private sector companies would step in if there wasn’t a governement “subsidized” transit system has shown to be false over and over again. Look at cities without rail transit – where are the private lines?”
Response: I never said anything about private rail. I said private transit system. That private system would probably be composed of buses, cabs and other options just like it is in the vast majority of cities around the world. Doesn’t it seem odd to anyone else that there are only a handful of cities in the United States that even have commuter trains and those are the cities with the worst traffic. Perhaps the billions of dollars used to subsidize MARTA over the years could have served a better purpose and Atlanta wouldn’t face the traffic problems we see today.