FTA steps in to provide service to Clayton County with MARTA
I have news. I may have scoops. I may have arguments. I may have caffeine jitters. That being said, on to the newsiness!
Clayton County may have transit as soon as July 1st.
Let that one sink in.
The FTA is meeting with MARTA and the county commissioners of Clayton to discuss using revenue generated from the sales tax in the Clayton section on the airport to fund service. This would generate approximately 2.5 million in funds to restore the bus system once run by CTran. This would not be a level of service as great as CTran once was, which operated on 6 million a year, but it’s something. If they can reach an agreement, meaning if the commission doesn’t shoot them down, then buses may be rolling down those streets as soon as July 1st. Considering that the straw poll in November passed with overwhelming support and now Wole Ralph will be needing a bus since he will be loosing his license following his DUI this weekend, I’d say it’s almost a done deal.
Speaking of funding and systems that run out of it, Gov. Deal released his draft budget yesterday which includes operating support for GRTA, which will be forced to shut it’s doors thus year without assistance. I’m all for GRTA receiving funds, that’s great. But it’s not fair. All transit systems in the state should have the opportunity to receive operating assistance. And why is the state stepping up to aid GRTA, whose average rider has an annual salary of $70,000 and owns a vehicle, while it did nothing for CTran, whose rider earns on average $20,000 and doesn’t own a car. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome that those folks choose transit, but fund the whole state.