Metro Atlantans keep favoring transit; are leaders listening?

By Maria Saporta

The people have spoken. The question is whether anyone is listening.

Time and time again — in telephone town hall meetings, in forums and countless opportunities for public comment — people are saying the Atlanta region needs to invest in transit.

The latest case in point was Saturday morning when more than 200 interested citizens from metro Atlanta spent three hours at the Civic League for Regional Atlanta’s Town Hall meeting called: Get a Move On.

They gathered to talk about what should be the region’s transportation priorities as elected metro leaders decide what projects to include on a list that will be presented to voters as part of a one-cent transportation sales tax referendum in the 10-county Atlanta region.

The 21 leaders who serve on the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable will have to decide how to invest $6.1 billion over the next 10 years. They will pick from a list of $22.9 billion in transportation projects that includes heavy rail, light rail, streetcars, buses, sidewalks, bike paths, aviation as well as roads, bridges, interchanges and arterials.

At the town hall meeting, attendees were asked through instant polling their top three priorities for investing the new tax dollars. Transit was top choice with a score of 84 percent.

The group also was given three choices — emphasizing roads, emphasizing transit or splitting the investment between roads and transit. Of those three choices, 63 percent favored emphasizing transit, 30 percent favored a split between both while only 7 percent chose the road option.

The results of this town hall meeting virtually mirrors what people are saying throughout the region.

Through a series of telephone town hall meetings in each of the 10 counties, a total of 134,405 people participated and shared their views. Asked whether it was very important to invest in new transit, 70.9 percent said: “Yes.”

In fact, transit is not just a preference of those living in metro Atlanta. Kathryn Lawler, the external affairs manager of the Atlanta Regional Commission, said there was a telephone town hall meeting with the 11 regions outside of metro Atlanta with 25,000 senior citizens. All they wanted to talk about was transit, and yet the project lists in those regions have few or no transit options.

What this tells us is that “the people” are ahead of the state and regional transportation planners, who have repeatedly demonstrated a bias towards roads. While transit projects have been included on their proposed lists, the assumptions and constraints that have been placed on the transit project.

Without a doubt, metro Atlanta needs to invest in its transportation infrastructure.

But for the past several decades, the Atlanta region has been investing in roads and more roads while its investment in transit has been negligible.

Chris Leinberger, a nationally-renowned urban developer and strategist with the Brookings Institution, while in Atlanta last week compared Georgia’s capital city with the nation’s capital city.

Both Atlanta and Washington, D.C. invested in a heavy rail transit system 35 years ago. Both cities have a population of about 5.7 million. But the comparisons stop there.

Metro Atlanta quit building out its MARTA transit system decades ago while Washington’s Metro system has continued to expand (26 times in the past 35 years). Click here to see the current MARTA rail map. And click here to see Washington’s current rail map.

As a result, Washington has created a multitude of walkable town centers — most of them in the suburbs. The development patterns of downtown Washington also have changed.

“There were 90 surface parking lots 20 years ago,” Leinberger said of Washington. “Today there are zero.” The last parking lot is currently being redeveloped by Hines into a mixed-use project.

By the way, Washington’s Metro is not stopping. The transit agency’s website states that it currently is investing $5 billion in more than 100 projects to expand and improve its system.

By comparison, metro Atlanta has continued to sprawl with minimal concentration of growth around town centers that can be connected by transit.

“You have woefully under-invested in MARTA,” Leinberger said, adding that the mode of transportation for the future is rail. Other cities — Denver, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Charlotte, Dallas — have figured that.

But metro Atlanta continues to only talk transit rather than invest real dollars to create a regional transit system.

Now we have a rare opportunity pass a penny sales tax that can help us get back on an even footing with other cities. We can restart our efforts to build the regional transit system we’ve always wanted.

It’s what the people want. But is anybody listening?

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

19 replies
  1. Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    “Metro Atlantans keep favoring transit; are leaders listening?”

    No, they are not listening, not until the transit and rail lobby starts putting forth the big bucks and making campaign contributions that are as big or bigger than the very powerful roadbuilding lobby makes on a consistent basis. This is Georgia, baby, and in Georgia you gotta pay to play (not unlike Illinois, New Jersey or just about anywhere else).

    Another thing is that, while some studies and polls show that they may be a slight minority or even less, those who dislike transit are very loud and vocal and increasingly organized in their opposition to it (see: Tea Party). Despite being shown by some studies to possibly be a minority of the commuting public, those who oppose investments in rail and transit have the ability to influence and even dominate the political discussion and landscape to a continued outcome that is to their preferred liking.

    The combination of big political contributions from the roadbuilding lobby and a notorious libertarian streak that often manifests itself in very loud, vocal and increasingly organized to transit or anything that might be perceived to be even remotely “socialist” is the reason (well, that and the fact that they’re a bunch of notoriously incompetent idiots) why state transportation planners will flush billions down the toilet on money-losing High Occupancy Toll “Lexus Lanes” in the I-85 and I-75 corridors instead of spending even a portion of that amount to bring critically-needed commuter rail options to highly-viable existing rail lines that parallel those oft-gridlocked interstate corridors.

    So while the crooks at the Statehouse skip out on their property taxes while filling their pockets with fat campaign contributions from their crony roadbuilding buddies and the flaming idiots at GDOT burn billions of preciously-limited taxpayer dollars studying road tunnels under the city and causing even worse traffic jams with ingenious “solutions” to gridlock like Lexus Lanes we can sit and watch other cities like Dallas, Denver, Washington and Atlanta’s favorite “boogeyman-in-the-rear”, Charlotte pass us by in job growth and economic investment and expansion while we sit hopelessly stuck in traffic staring at empty Lexus Lanes during one of our many, many assorted “Rush Hours from Hell”.Report

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  2. Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    BTW, Georgia ain’t exactly been lighting-it-up in the road-investment department either when compared to other states like Texas and Florida, unless you count shiny new five-lane roads through sparcely-populated South Georgia as an example of “extensive transportation investment”. HA! What a pathetic joke!Report

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  3. UrbanTraveler says:

    The next components of regional transit for Atlanta need to be starting of commuter rail between Atlanta and another key city, such as Macon, where the right-of-way is secured and the support for the project along the line is already demonstrated. We’ve talked about commuter rail for decades, and Georgians, not just Atlantans, are ready for the benefits it will bring: greater mobility, greater connection of people to jobs and education, and stimulation of economic development not only at the endpoints but at the connected towns in between.

    Funding has been available time again for this project, but the failure in moving forward has been leadership at the state level. The next push needs to come from the top, from the State DOT, the Governor’s office, and from the leadership in Georgia’s state house and senate.

    A key element of making commuter rail successful at the beginning will be connecting it to already-existing networks at endpoints, such as Amtrak and the MARTA system in Atlanta. A new train station in Atlantic Station is a great idea, because it gives access to many more riders, but only if it’s connected to MARTA via rail or streetcar.Report

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  4. Burroughston Broch says:

    Urban Traveler,

    There are few people along this rail line who commute into downtown Atlanta, and even fewer into downtown Macon.

    When you look at the growth pattern of metro Atlanta, growth toward Macon is minimal. The growth and potential customers are to the NE and NW.

    A much better choice would be a NW line into downtown (think the CSX route to Chattanooga) or a NE line into the Doraville MARTA station.Report

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  5. UrbanTraveler says:

    Burroughston Broch,

    What we should be doing is to build a whole system at once. Having watched this debate for going on two decades now, I see that it gets caught up in which segment should be first. As if there will only be one route. The fact is, we need the routes you say and the others too, in order to be a true network. Chattanooga, Gainesville, Augusta, Athens, and Columbus are all important desitinations to serve. But plans for those routes have not become reality yet, and what appears to be on the table right now is the route to Macon. We have to start somewhere, and a route that connects Atlanta to a second large city and to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is a good one. Commuters are part of the story, economic development is also important.Report

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  6. UrbanTraveler says:

    Burroughston Broch,

    What we should be doing is to build a whole system at once. Having watched this debate for going on two decades now, I see that it gets caught up in which segment should be first. As if there will only be one route. The fact is, we need the routes you say and the others too, in order to be a true network. Chattanooga, Gainesville, Augusta, Athens, and Columbus are all important desitinations to serve. But plans for those routes have not become reality yet, and what appears to be on the table right now is the route to Macon. We have to start somewhere, and a route that connects Atlanta to a second large city and to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is a good one. Commuters are part of the story, economic development is also important.Report

    Reply
  7. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    @Burroughston Broch

    “There are few people along this rail line who commute into downtown Atlanta, and even fewer into downtown Macon.”

    I would not necessarily say that there are that few people that commute into Downtown Atlanta along the proposed route of the Atlanta-Macon via Lovejoy commuter rail line as I can personally vouch for the fact that both US Hwy 19-41 and I-75 south of Atlanta carry ALOT of heavy traffic and are often swamped beyond capacity during weekday morning and evening rush hours, special events at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, traffic accidents, inclement weather, routine road construction and holiday rush periods.

    I have personally been stuck in gridlocked traffic on Hwy 19-41 South during special events at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and even worse, I have personally been stuck in gridlocked traffic on I-75 South in Clayton and Henry Counties during morning and evening rush hours and off-rush hours during serious traffic accidents, bad weather and on a few occasions have even stuck on I-75 through McDonough on weekends during serious traffic collisions and minor fender benders alike.

    Through much firsthand experience I can tell you that there is a CRITICAL and overwhelming need for a dependable commuter rail through the I-75 south ATL-Macon corridor, not only on the Norfolk Southern rail line that runs Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Hampton & Griffin, but ALSO on the OTHER ATL-Macon Norfolk Southern rail line that runs parallel along the east side of I-75 and runs through Stockbridge, McDonough, Locust Grove & Jackson. I can assure you that there is more than enough demand to support not only a future ATL-Macon line that runs parallel to 19-41, but also a future rail line that runs parallel to I-75 because the traffic really has a propensity to be THAT BAD.

    Report

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  8. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    @Burroughston Broch

    “There are few people along this rail line who commute into downtown Atlanta, and even fewer into downtown Macon.”

    I would not necessarily say that there are that few people that commute into Downtown Atlanta along the proposed route of the Atlanta-Macon via Lovejoy commuter rail line as I can personally vouch for the fact that both US Hwy 19-41 and I-75 south of Atlanta carry ALOT of heavy traffic and are often swamped beyond capacity during weekday morning and evening rush hours, special events at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, traffic accidents, inclement weather, routine road construction and holiday rush periods.

    I have personally been stuck in gridlocked traffic on Hwy 19-41 South during special events at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and even worse, I have personally been stuck in gridlocked traffic on I-75 South in Clayton and Henry Counties during morning and evening rush hours and off-rush hours during serious traffic accidents, bad weather and on a few occasions have even stuck on I-75 through McDonough on weekends during serious traffic collisions and minor fender benders alike.

    Through much firsthand experience I can tell you that there is a CRITICAL and overwhelming need for a dependable commuter rail through the I-75 south ATL-Macon corridor, not only on the Norfolk Southern rail line that runs Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Hampton & Griffin, but ALSO on the OTHER ATL-Macon Norfolk Southern rail line that runs parallel along the east side of I-75 and runs through Stockbridge, McDonough, Locust Grove & Jackson. I can assure you that there is more than enough demand to support not only a future ATL-Macon line that runs parallel to 19-41, but also a future rail line that runs parallel to I-75 because the traffic really has a propensity to be THAT BAD.

    Report

    Reply
  9. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    @Burroughston Broch

    “There are few people along this rail line who commute into downtown Atlanta, and even fewer into downtown Macon.”

    I would not necessarily say that there are that few people that commute into Downtown Atlanta along the proposed route of the Atlanta-Macon via Lovejoy commuter rail line as I can personally vouch for the fact that both US Hwy 19-41 and I-75 south of Atlanta carry ALOT of heavy traffic and are often swamped beyond capacity during weekday morning and evening rush hours, special events at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, traffic accidents, inclement weather, routine road construction and holiday rush periods.

    I have personally been stuck in gridlocked traffic on Hwy 19-41 South during special events at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and even worse, I have personally been stuck in gridlocked traffic on I-75 South in Clayton and Henry Counties during morning and evening rush hours and off-rush hours during serious traffic accidents, bad weather and on a few occasions have even stuck on I-75 through McDonough on weekends during serious traffic collisions and minor fender benders alike.

    Through much firsthand experience I can tell you that there is a CRITICAL and overwhelming need for a dependable commuter rail through the I-75 south ATL-Macon corridor, not only on the Norfolk Southern rail line that runs Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Hampton & Griffin, but ALSO on the OTHER ATL-Macon Norfolk Southern rail line that runs parallel along the east side of I-75 and runs through Stockbridge, McDonough, Locust Grove & Jackson. I can assure you that there is more than enough demand to support not only a future ATL-Macon line that runs parallel to 19-41, but also a future rail line that runs parallel to I-75 because the traffic really has a propensity to be THAT BAD.

    Report

    Reply
  10. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    @Burroughston Broch

    “When you look at the growth pattern of metro Atlanta, growth toward Macon is minimal. The growth and potential customers are to the NE and NW.”

    With the crushingly heavy traffic that frequently occurs on Hwy 19-41 and I-75, I wouldn’t necessarily say that growth towards Macon is minimal, but I would agree that growth on the Southside of the Atlanta Region is not as explosive as the growth within the “Golden Crescent” (the area between Superlakes Allatoona and Lanier) and on the Northside of the Atlanta Region because of the obvious topographical and geographical advantages that the Northside has over the Southside (advantages like a much more hilly topography and a closer proximity to the foothills, mountains and pristine lakes of North Georgia).

    Despite being at a distinct disadvantage to the Northside, the Southside or “Southern Crescent” has managed to hold its own with upscale enclaves like Peachtree City and Eagles’ Landing being but a few of the examples of heady growth in South Metro and South Suburban/Exurban Atlanta.

    Try to frequently traverse 19-41 and I-75 during daylight hours any day of the week and one will see firsthand that there is plenty of growth and more than plenty of potential customers for commuter rail in the ATL-Macon corridor. Even with the overwhelming need for commuter rail options in the I-75/US 19-41 ATL-Macon corridor, I will agree that the need for additional transportation options in the I-85 NE, I-75 NW and GA 400 North Metro corridors is even that much more immensely and critically greater. Report

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  11. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    @Burroughston Broch

    “A much better choice would be a NW line into downtown (think the CSX route to Chattanooga) or a NE line into the Doraville MARTA station.”

    Both the ATL-Chattanooga CSX line that parallels I-75 through Northwest Georgia and the ATL-Gainesville-Toccoa-Clemson-Greenville Norfolk Southern line that parallels I-85 through Northeast Georgia and into the South Carolina Upcountry would be excellent choices as STARTING POINTS for commuter rail, but if we’re measuring where the best place to start a regionwide or statewide system of commuter/interurban trains would be, the ABSOLUTE best starting point and first track to implement commuter rail in the Atlanta Region would be the much-ballyhooed “Brain-Train” commuter rail line connecting a future intermodal station in Downtown Atlanta with Athens in East Central Georgia and at least five major universities in-between.

    Starting with the “Brain-Train” line would demonstrate to an increasingly conservative and skeptical populace that remains cool to the idea of transit just how overwhelmingly effective commuter rail lines can be in alleviating traffic during a wide range of gridlock-inducing scenarios that have time and again proven to be impossible for motorists to avoid becoming apart of (from morning and evening rush hours, to special events, to road construction, to bad weather, to traffic accidents, etc).

    Combine the relatively heavier population density in the I-85/US 29/GA 316 corridor that the proposed rail line would serve with the built-in demand that will come with serving what is basically six major centers of higher education in North Georgia (a population demographic of college-aged students who are not as likely as adults to have ready access to individual transportation in the form of personal automobiles at the Atlanta University Center, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Emory, Georgia Gwinnett College & UGA) and the “Brain-Train” has the overwhelming potential to make commuter rail and transit in general appear to be very, very popular, hot and trendy to the masses of North Georgia taxpayers, commuters and motorists who can be loathe to give up being overly-dependent solely upon their cars despite the increasingly obvious challenges in maintaining an auto-overdependent lifestyle (sky-high gas prices, air pollution, wasteful land overconsumption, inadequate road infrastructure, social isolation, etc).

    The “Brain-Train” can be the single starting jump-off point to changing the mindset of all of North Georgia from being a car-centric (car-crazy) region that thinks the world revolves solely around roads to being a transit-centric region that uses a potent multmodal approach to increase its own economic, cultural and social viability as well as increase its already-rising international profile. Report

    Reply
  12. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    @UrbanTraveler

    I agree 200% with everything that you said especially about commuters being part of the story and ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BEING an IMPORTANT consideration when planning and building a transportation network, but building out the whole system at once may not necessarily be financially or POLITICALLY viable or possible in the very near future. Despite frequent severe issues along the major roads that connect their outlying suburban and exurban communities with the job major regional centers within the urban core of the Atlanta Region, outlying communities like Fayette and Cherokee in particular and even within key closer-in counties like Cobb and Gwinnett there continues to be politically-influential pockets of significant and substantial resistance to the concept of expanding transportation options to include transit options in the form of commuter rail, etc.

    Another major problem with attempting to build-out an entire commuter rail system at once is that on the whole, our political leaders and transportation planning leaders don’t necessarily seem to yet understand how a fully-integrated regionwide transit system is supposed to work. Historically there seems to be a diffuse and piecemeal approach to transportation planning across North Georgia as multiple transportation proposals that should apart of the same fully-integrated multimodal transportation system seem to be competing with each, sometimes within the same community.

    Just witness the competition between opposing groups proposing High Occupancy Toll or “Lexus Lanes” on I-75 and I-575, the factions proposing commuter rail on existing CSX and Georgia Northeastern rail lines between ATL and Canton and ATL and Acworth, the factions pushing light rail on the CSX line between Downtown Atlanta and Cumberland Mall, factions pushing light rail on US 41/Cobb Parkway between Cumberland and Town Center Malls and the faction pushing the widening of US 41/Cobb Parkway through its entire length in Cobb. That’s FIVE different factions all just within Cobb County alone fighting with each other to get ALL of the transportation funding alloted for Cobb to basically go to their one project over all the other proposals.

    Now apply that competition between differing factions pushing their own transportation proposals across the entire Atlanta Region and you comments regarding lack of leadership at the state level really come to light. Its almost impossible to put together an integrated regional transportation network when you got all of these different individual balkanized factions within the same region and sometimes within the same counties fighting with each other and vying for a very, very limited pot of taxpayer funding that may not ever become available in an area and era of intense anti-government and anti-tax sentiment.

    Not only does this scatterbrained approach to infrastructure planning call for leadership at the state level (think Zell Miller, circa-1990), but it also underscores the need for finding additional ways of funding transportation needs that are outside the box. Depending on proposed regionwide sales taxes that don’t yet exist and are likely to be voted down by an increasingly angry populace that is perilously close to a revolt against wasteful and corrupt government and additional and existing taxes of all kinds at all levels is not the smartest way to attempt to fund all of our overwhelming transportation needs.

    Because financial and political capital is scarce, to say the least, building a “demo” commuter rail line along the “Brain-Train” corridor to demonstrate the overwhelming effectiveness of commuter rail to skeptical Georgians would be an excellent way to convince them of the critical importance of investing in transportation infrastructure isn’t the worst idea, especially given the very limited resources and limited goodwill. Report

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  13. Burroughston Broch says:

    @UrbanTraveler

    I cannot agree with you that any start, no matter how ill-conceived, is better than no start. If the Macon line were implemented alone, it would rapidly be exposed as the white elephant of all white elephants and shut down. The lingering scent of failure would taint all future attempts.

    I think that it would be better to think like a business person rather than a bureaucrat who has a pot of money and is going to spend it, caring not whether it goes to good use or not. First build the lines that will attract riders, and lots of them – namely me. I live on the far east end of Dunwoody and commute daily by to the Cumberland Mall area, averaging 25-30 minutes each way. I could go by bus, but it would take me over an hour each way and two changes each direction. Give me light rail to ride along the north I285 and I would be thrilled – and there are thousands like me.Report

    Reply
  14. Burroughston Broch says:

    @UrbanTraveler

    You and I both know that building the whole thing at one time in this economy isn’t going to happen, so let’s be realistic.

    Why not build a SE line as far out as the outer Atlanta suburbs and get it going, and perhaps extend it to Forsyth and Macon later? I assure you that most of the folks commuting from the suburbs aren’t going to Macon. I don’t see much potential in Bibb County since the population is static and there isn’t a lot going on. It’s less than 1/4 the population of either Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett, and less than 1/6 the population of Fulton.Report

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  15. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    @Burroughston [email protected]

    Mr. Broch: I agree that building out the entire system at once is not going to happen as it is just not necessarily logistically or financially possible to do so, but the building out of the system may take place through different economic and political eras, some where it looks like the thing may never get built (like now) and though some where they may be enough political support and even pressure to attempt to build it all at once resulting in a very large chunk of the system being built in a very short period of time as that is just part of the ebb-and-flow of politics and public policy.

    Though keep-in-mind that big-city commuter rail lines often end in smaller, less densely populated outlying “exurban” cities sometimes as far as up to 100 miles away or even more from the point of origination in the urban core (the South Shore Commuter Rail Line is approximately over 95 miles long between Chicago’s Union Station and the South Bend, Indiana Regional Airport and the line is really popular with Chicagoans who attend school and frequent football and other sporting events at the University of Notre Dame).

    Most of the folks on the ATL-Macon commuter rail line will not be going to Macon, but there will be enough of them going to Macon to make a very significant impact on the veracity of traffic on I-75 between ATL and Macon.

    Macon is also the home of Mercer University and Macon State College so having the commuter rail option between ATL and Macon and beyond to Warner Robins makes it easier for Atlanta Region students attending Middle Georgia colleges and universities to move back-and-forth between ATL and the Middle Georgia if and when they so choose without the exclusive use of a personal automobile.

    Commuter rail/interurban train service between Atlanta and Macon, Warner Robins, etc, also opens up Middle Georgia to the kind of economic development opportunities that are right now primarily only available in North Georgia in the form of exurban residential, commercial and industrial growth. Passenger rail service between ATL and Middle Georgia will provide a big psychological boost to Middle Georgia making residents of that area feel as though they are taking part in the same explosive growth that Atlanta and North Georgia have experienced for years, only this will be a smarter more efficient growth that emphases transit-friendly density over autpmobile-oriented sprawl.

    Also keep-in-mind that Warner Robins will ultimately be the end point for the 19-41 commuter rail line (via Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Hampton & Griffin) and that the small college town of Fort Valley will ultimately be the end point for the I-75 commuter rail line (via Stockbridge, McDonough, Locust Grove & Jackson).Report

    Reply
  16. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    @Burroughston [email protected]

    Mr. Broch: I do agree that a RAPID transit option is severely and critically-needed across the Top-End I-285 corridor, whether it be light rail, bus rapid transit, express bus, etc, but, despite the frequently crippling traffic, I also don’t mind taking the time to come up with transit options that GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME so that skeptical Georgians are able to warm to a transportation option that is of the utmost importance to this region’s future from an economic and job development standpoint.

    I’d much rather we’d take the time to plan the ATL-Macon (and beyond) lines carefully and get them right than to screw them up and leave everyone with a bad transit taste in their mouths going forward.

    Report

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  17. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    @Burroughston [email protected]

    Mr. Broch: I do agree that a RAPID transit option is severely and critically-needed across the Top-End I-285 corridor, whether it be light rail, bus rapid transit, express bus, etc, but, despite the frequently crippling traffic, I also don’t mind taking the time to come up with transit options that GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME so that skeptical Georgians are able to warm to a transportation option that is of the utmost importance to this region’s future from an economic and job development standpoint.

    I’d much rather we’d take the time to plan the ATL-Macon (and beyond) lines carefully and get them right than to screw them up and leave everyone with a bad transit taste in their mouths going forward.

    Report

    Reply
  18. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    @Burroughston [email protected]

    Mr. Broch: I do agree that a RAPID transit option is severely and critically-needed across the Top-End I-285 corridor, whether it be light rail, bus rapid transit, express bus, etc, but, despite the frequently crippling traffic, I also don’t mind taking the time to come up with transit options that GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME so that skeptical Georgians are able to warm to a transportation option that is of the utmost importance to this region’s future from an economic and job development standpoint.

    I’d much rather we’d take the time to plan the ATL-Macon (and beyond) lines carefully and get them right than to screw them up and leave everyone with a bad transit taste in their mouths going forward.

    Report

    Reply

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