Why I don’t think the state should fund GRTA, and some news
Governor Deal has proposed that GRTA operations be a regular line item in the Georgia annual budget. While the AJC is reporting this as “revolutionary,” I think that this is more of the same ‘ole same ‘ole. The state had been floating GRTA for three years now, but most importantly, this is allowing the state to continue undervaluing systems like MARTA, Savannah, and Macon which really move people who need it in favor of a system that caters to the wealthy suburbanites. The average GRTA rider has an annual salary of $75,000 and owns a car. I’m not devaluing their choice to take transit, that’s great and we should support them, but if that service were to stop because Georgia can’t afford to equally fund all transit in the state, we might get more people, and not the “typicals,” to stand up and take notice. It’s too easy for people to say that MARTA is mismanaged and look the other way, but why won’t the state bail it out like they are with GRTA?
As construction on the Beltline ramps back up following the recession, they look to make sure that the residential building remains equitable.
Around the nation:
Virginia took a cue from Georgia on its landmark transportation funding plan, writing in to the bill that the funds can not be used to fund the Norfolk light rail system, but the funds can be used for the DC Metro.
Plans to build a mass transit system in Indianapolis moves forward as the Indiana House passes a bill to allow the counties to vote on a tax increase for funding.
Chicago’s CTA looks to hire 700 customer service agents to help passengers at stations, including answering questions and helping out riders with disabilities.