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My Funding Solutions for MARTA

August 3, 2010
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People are up in arms about the scheduled bus changes.  I get it, it sucks and is disheartening that MARTA has to take such extreme measures, including taking the harshest cuts in its 30 year history.  But it’s not unwarranted, so we have to deal.  Without a new funding source identified or a major uptake on sales tax revenue, MARTA will be bankrupt in the fiscal year 2013 (that means July).  And that’s not MARTA’s fault, it’s our state’s fault.  Remember, MARTA is the largest transit system in the nation that doesn’t receive state funding.  Then again, GRTA receives state funding and will be broke in 10 months.  Hmm, let’s see if the state bails them out.

But until the state gets its head out of its ass, let’s take a look at a few possible funding sources MARTA could take advantage of:

Contracting out wi-fi – this is by far my favorite solution, as mentioned by That’s MARTA! yesterday.  MARTA gets money, we get wi-fi, I feel like this is a win-win.

Get some cell phone providers to pay to be the official service providers for MARTA.  Have them install mini-towers or whatever in the tunnels and they can advertise that you can talk to on MARTA!  Or better yet, that you can stream music to you phone so the entire train doesn’t have to listen to the one snip-it you have on there as a ringtone on fricking repeat the whole way from Five Points to Kensington.

Speaking of advertising, how about going after a contract with Ashley Madison?  I’m not saying we should support the company, and if I’m ever married to someone who uses them, I’ll probably kill him, but I think it’s a hilarious company and apparently they have a record of wanting to advertise on transit systems.  MARTA gets money, riders get entertaining ads, and the news outlets gets lots of crap to talk about for at least a week.

MARTA could charge for busking licenses or beggar’s fees.  MARTA could be like a pimp, and take a percentage of the daily take for the bum asking for money so they can get the $12 to stay at the shelter.  The cops could stand at the fare gates and wait for the bums to leave, shaking them down for MARTA’s cut before they leave.

We could also seek sponsorship of the train lines, similar to my earlier beer post.  Local breweries sponsor the lines while we encourage folks to take MARTA for their nights out on the town.

How about making the annual bus rodeo public and charging admission?  Maybe even let folks tour a yard and operate a train around Avondale.  I bet people would go for that.  I would.

An APP for iPhones and Droids.  Seriously.  People would buy that.  An APP that tells you when your bus or train was coming.  Huge hit, and I know that MARTA already has this technology, so it shouldn’t be that hard to come up with.

Anyone else have any brilliant ideas to share?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Pluto permalink
    August 3, 2010 2:33 pm

    Ashley, you can write on my Wall anytime! (smile)

  2. CCTgirl permalink*
    August 3, 2010 2:38 pm

    Alight, Pluto. You’re on!

  3. Joseph398 permalink
    August 9, 2010 11:31 pm

    Contracting out wi-fi sounds like a great idea, and MARTA does try to get the trains wrapped in advertising as much as they can (I remember a LOT of IKEA advertising on the trains one time). The panhandlers can stay away, though, as far as I’m concerned. Maybe the app will come someday.

    • CCTgirl permalink*
      August 10, 2010 6:21 pm

      They shot down my Ashley Madison idea, though.

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