Posted on March 29, 2011 by jimgilvin MARTA wants more than half of Georgia’s proposed 8 Billion Dollar transportation tax increase http://bit.ly/eflC6J Share this:EmailTwitterLike this:Like Loading... Related
Mass transit is extremely costly to build and to subsidize. It makes little or no sense financially.
Overall MARTA and mass transit wants about 2/3 of the total transportation capital plus 2/3 of the annual operating dollars spent for transportation. At best, mass transit will provide 8% of the trips. Do the math. Two thirds of the dollars for only 8% of the trips. Does that sound good to you?
If you favor mass transit, how would you like to pay for it? The 2008 North Fulton Comprehensive Transporation Plan says it would cost $3.6 billion to extend MARTA rail by 13 miles to Windward. That’s about $36,000 per North Fulton household. The annual operating budget for the North rail line extension would be $48 million. Assuming fares cover part of the cost, it would require an annual operating subsidy of $350 from every household in North Fulton (north of the river).
I ride MARTA to work daily because I pass the Windward Park and Ride and work near a station. I am one of about 4-5% who can ride MARTA, but financially MARTA makes little sense. We can solve our traffic congestion by other more effective methods (roads, vanpools).
I would like to hear from the mass transit advocates. Do you ride it daily and who should pay the high cost? Many Alpharetta mass transit advocates recommend it–for other people.
I would catch it every now and then for a Braves game, but that’s about it. I don’t personally believe that a city with Atlanta’s already established sprawl, can be retrofitted for heavy rail in any sort of meaningful, cost-effective way. Most successful mass transit cities like New York and Chicago grew up around the rail lines and stops.