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Public Hearings: Race wars, white supremacy and the Bible

May 20, 2011

Monday and Tuesday of this week gave us another round of budget public hearings. If you haven’t ever been to one, you should try it sometime. They give me a headache, mainly because no one out there seems to have any clue of how transit works, and particularly how it is, or in Atlanta’s case, isn’t funded. To me, this is a failure on transit advocates and MARTA’s fault on not educating people. We can’t expect them to know if we never teach them, and when questions were asked that would have opened up that discussion, the issue was skirted.

Like the dude who asked why a city as small as Atlanta needed funds when places like Pittsburgh and New York don’t. Okay A: don’t compare us to New York. Don’t compare anything to New York. They move more people a day than the entire nation’s worth of transit systems combined. (that may be a tad bit of a stretch, but work with me here).

B: they need funding, too. Every transit system in the nation is hurting, everything is hurting in this economy.


Are you mad about potential fare increases? Call your state reps. Do service cuts have you seething? Call your city council members. Do you want to see better transit in our region? Write a letter to your legislators.

Forty some people made comments at the hearing Monday in Fulton. Some were well thought out. Some were outright stupid:

People are dying on MARTA mobility.

Race race race and MLK Jr.

Bathrooms! Holy crap I gotta take a crap how can you only have 9 open? And then you put in soda machines that are gonna have to make me pee more? Ahh!

Amos 5:24 Let judgement rain down. I guess on the MARTA folks for raising fares when the eldery on fixed incomes can’t afford it.

Future generations can’t afford it.

(Does this mean everyone between the ages on 5 and 60 can afford it?)

O, nope, the hardworking people can not afford the increase, either.

All the good paying jobs are outside of the MARTA service area. Like in Austell. What is out in Austell, besides McMansions?

No transit system can survive on fare revenue alone.

Why does MARTA partner with the white surpremist organizations in Cobb and Gwinnett that kept MARTA out?

And blah blah blah. O, and Rep. Vincent Fort spoke out against the TIA, but his opinion doesn’t really count, Mr. Anti-MARTA-friend-of-Jill-Chambers. But kudos to him for showing up. I did hear people asking where Mayor Kasim Reed was.

In other news, Cobb County is looking to increase fares and reduce service for the second year in a row as well. Why aren’t they all up in arms as well?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. rptrcub permalink
    May 24, 2011 2:45 pm

    This is why I don’t go to those hearings anymore, nor read the comments when MARTA posts on its Facebook page.

  2. Mpitikwane Gwabeni permalink
    May 24, 2011 3:31 pm

    I can understand fare increases and the fact that it comes because Marta isn’t publicly funded but what i dont understand is, why as riders; who dont have much money as it is to ride now, have to pay for the crappy services that MARTA provides now. The economy is bad, everyone is on fixed income and most of us barely have enough food to eat but we must pay 95 dollars for a monthly for service that is horrible. If we were paying to be safe and for Marta employees to be gratious and nice then many wouldnt complain. But some of us have been robbed, dragged by buses, dealing with rude Marta employees, nasty bathrooms, buses that leave late, and Marta in general not caring about the very people that keep them in business. Not the ones that just started riding Marta because the economy has crashed, but the ones who couldnt afford to buy cars and communte from far out places just to work in the city. It saddens me that we as people that need this service get screwed because the greedy want more money. Haven’t you all watched the news casts on Marta lately? These rate increase aren’t about helping MARTA with making things better but fixing a mistake that Marta wants us to pay for. Please everyone do your research. Marta making bad investments and lost money now we are making up the difference. I have two kids, one of which has Autisim. I need Marta to get around. If Marta increases it fares i can’t afford to ride Marta at all. That hinders me from taking my kids to school, docters visits, and washing laundry. But i doubt Marta cares about a nothing with no money like me. So i can appreciate the opinions of others that RAVE about MARTA, but they arent in the same financial situation that im in nor have they been riding MARTA as long as i have. Dont try to explain to me WHY MARTA needs to raise fairs. Look at MARTA’s history on fair increases then tell me this is something that is normal. I pray that God gets us threw but i also pray that im not in jail for not sending my kids school because i can’t afford to ride MARTA.

    • theurbanryan permalink
      May 25, 2011 12:01 pm

      Not that anyone cares, but Pittsburgh and New York are also in financial straights as dire as MARTA’s, and have both made massive service cuts in the past year. Pittsburgh’s was actually up to the degree of MARTA’s – upwards of 15% of their service – and there’s potentially more to come. That speaker picked some particularly poor examples – they needs funds as badly as MARTA, and are suffering similar consequences of the economy.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if people participating in public forums (not just hearings, but the internet too) actually did so with an open mind to take advantage of the information that’s out there? Going in with the attitude of “Dont try to explain to me WHY MARTA needs to raise fairs” makes it clear that you’re not interested in any background to the situation, there’s not much anyone can do to help you. Your impressions are wrong – and that doesn’t invalidate that this may be a hardship for you, you have every right to be upset – but unless you arm yourself with informed, correct arguments, you’re going to be fighting the people on your side. Namely, that’s people like the folks who write this blog, and MARTA itself, who’s worked for years to secure more stable funding and stop the cycle of cuts and fare increases. If MARTA wasn’t bound by the state, who created it in the 1960s, things would be different, but as it is, MARTA doesn’t have the control to choose its own destiny, much less funding sources. So I hope that you can make it through if the fares go up, and be mad at MARTA if you have to, but take some of that energy and fight for change where it’s actually needed – with your government, and those who actually have the political power to fix things for MARTA and regional transit.

      • theurbanryan permalink
        May 25, 2011 12:10 pm

        Also, if you look at fare increases anywhere in the country, you’d see that this is normal – things get more expensive, due to inflation or other cost increases. When MARTA’s fare was fifteen cents, a gallon of gas was thirty-six cents, and a loaf of bread was a quarter. It happens to bus fares, gas, your groceries, comic books, everything.

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