You may recall that last year the Clayton County Commission eliminated that county’s public transportation network, C-Tran. At the time you could hear the ululating of the transit advocates (the fact that people identify themselves as advocates for a mode of transportation amazes me) as they mourned the loss of a public transportation system regardless of the fiscal justification.
So I tried to find evidence that Clayton County has suffered a negative economic consequence from a lack of public transportation. I can’t find a single shred of evidence that the county did the wrong thing. If any of you have evidence one way or another I would love to see it. I have no doubt that it was inconvenient for some people to arrange for their own transportation needs without government subsidies but I can’t find any empirical evidence which proves that eliminating C-Tran was a bad economic decision for the county.
What I did find was that after C-Tran was eliminated the Clayton County voters passed a non-binding resolution asking the county to join the MARTA system. I am sure there must have been some news coverage of the vote but I missed it and only learned of the referendum when I stumbled across an article on the Atlanta Progressive News website. The article says that the voters passed a resolution to raise the county’s sales tax by one percent and then use the money to buy into the MARTA system. Who knew? It is amazing what you can learn from the interwebs.
For example I also learned that Sonny Perdue served as governor for 10 years. I always thought the former governor served two 4 year terms but according to someone identified only as Biola, ” There’s been a complete lack of leadership for the last ten years under Perdue.” That rascally Perdue. Who knew he was neglecting transportation needs even during the last two years of the Roy Barnes administration?
But that’s not all. I also learned that Clayton County residents will be paying up to $35 million dollars in additional sales tax if the MARTA tax were passed. And that the voters have been lead to believe that $35 million dollars is enough to extend train service as well as buses into their county. That seems odd since Fulton County residents have paid billions of dollars into the MARTA system for 3 decades but the trains still don’t go into much of the county. But if transit advocates say so it must be true. Of course $35 million dollars would barely cover 10% of MARTA’s yearly operating deficit but why quibble over details.
Another thing I learned from APN is that even transit advocates don’t expect the state’s proposed transportation tax increase to pass in 2012. The singularly named Biola reportedly also said, “he doubts the regional transportation sales tax is going to pass in 2012 in Metro Atlanta, given the difficulty of finding agreement on a project list between progressives in Atlanta and Tea Party elements in other counties.” I have to concede that Biola may have a point on that one. Those darn tea partiers just keep getting in the way every time some glorious government spending initiative comes up for an actual vote. That’s why SRTA had to pass the toll extension on GA 400 without one.
Well I think I’ve learned enough for one day but there is plenty more at AtlantaProgressiveNews.com if you want to check it out for yourself. And if you have that much time on your hands you may want to check out my previous blogposts regarding MARTA. They are listed under the MARTA category on the right side of the GA Jim home page.