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Why I Didn’t Discuss the AJC’s Coverage of MARTA

September 18, 2010

So, I got direct tweet, or whatever the eff it’s called, last night on my personal non-transit account that read simply:

I thought you would have been all over the AJC by now but its Friday and your still silent.

First of all, who are you? Second, it’s “you’re.” Third, you obviously follow the other parts of my life, so you will see that I haven’t updated anything lately. I’m busy trying to make monies because I want to buy a house. Much like MARTA is trying to make monies because we’re in a recession and sales are down, and a sales tax gives MARTA its funding, which is why they’re cutting service, for which they have been so lambasted.

But MARTA has also been lambasted for expanding service when “Income projections were rosy and transit systems around the country were expanding.” said the AJC. Well, fucking pardon MARTA for a minute for making the most of what it’s got and what it can do in a time when things actually seem to be working out financially. Pardon MARTA for not sniffing out a bursting bubble like a dog at a barbecue with a bunch of kids and those bubble wands.
Why does everyone love bubbles anyway? Maybe that’s what MARTA needs: Bubble machines! Now the question is, would bubble machines come out of the capital budget or the operations budget?

Which is another thing.

Between fiscal years 2006 and 2010, spending on operations increased by 30 percent.

Welp, buses are expensive, and gas prices hit pretty hard over the last few years. Don’t you want tracks and buses to be maintained so that they don’t explode and/or telescope?

Payroll increased 31 percent in the period, driven by a 16 percent increase in the workforce and 12 percent higher salaries[…]Coming out of a decade of deficits and service cuts, the board opted to spend the money on new hires to allow
 MARTA to restore service and pay for raises and customer service projects to address riders’ complaints.

What a conundrum! Yes, I too think that what MARTA needs is to stop spending money and build a nest egg, so that she can retire somewhere nice, like Arizona. The dry heat will be good for her rusty wheels.
And oh, oh, oh:

Benefit costs were projected to climb by 61 percent between fiscal 2006 and 2010, driven by higher health insurance costs and larger contributions to prop up underfunded pension accounts hit by the recession.

For the most part, this is a union issue. If there’s a problem here, take it up with those greedy blue collar commies who want to keep their teeth, or an analog thereof, in old age.

The missing laptop auditing issue? Just for fun, compare the AJC’s lack of editorializing on DOT’s cost overruns to their open criticism of MARTA’s lost laptops.

That’s nothing compared to the utter waste of money I saw last night!
Around 10PM, a 110 bus pulled up alongside me and sat at a red light for a whole 45-second traffic light cycle while loading passengers. I mean, I know they’re supposed to pick people up, but some people call that “idling,” and it is considered a mighty waste of money and a strong cause of pollution.
There’s more!
Staring at me from the side of the bus was none other than Abraham Lincoln! How dare MARTA spend all that money on getting our 16th president to pose for an advertisement for something that is totally unrelated to buses? It probably costs hundreds to get him exhumed, fix up his head (since he was shot there), and then give him a ton of plastic surgery to make him look something like himself again, all so he could appear on the side of a bus and challenge passers by to a staring contest. (Which he won, by the way.)
Shame on you, MARTA, for exhuming the president for an 18th time just for a photo shoot that surely cost us something in some sort of tax money because everything MARTA does costs the public something, and dagnabbit, I’m going to be mad about whatever I can!

But damnit, there you go, tweeter, getting me to talk about shit I wasn’t planning on. “Your” truly an inspiration, anonymous, middle-of-the-night tweets! Keep them coming!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. CCTgirl permalink*
    September 19, 2010 12:43 pm

    Funniest blog post ever. Bravo.


  1. Atlanta isn’t as Progressive as Indianapolis or Tampa Bay « MARTA Rocks!

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