The latest on the Atlanta-Lovejoy line

It seems that the Clayton County BOC realized that they were going to get the shaft by covering the shortfall of the Atlanta-Lovejoy line:

The Clayton County Commission rescinded a 2005 resolution in which the county pledged to cover the transit line’s operating deficit — estimated at $4 million a year — for 50 years.

The commissioners insist they support the commuter rail line but now say they want a better deal from the state. The 2005 resolution puts the county on the hook for the entire shortfall, no matter how large it is.

“We can’t put the taxpayers of this county at undue harm,” said commissioner Wole Ralph, a longtime critic of the proposed funding agreement.

The decision, made Tuesday, throws another layer of uncertainty on the long-planned Lovejoy line, a 26-mile route between downtown Atlanta and south Clayton County that would be the state’s first commuter rail line.

The state has $109 million in hand to build the line, but no money to pay long-term operating and maintenance costs, estimated at $7 million a year. Passenger fares are expected to cover up to 40 percent of those costs.

6 comments

  1. I wonder how much Clayton County taxpayers (or Henry, DeKalb, Cherokee, Fulton, Gwinnett, etc) pay in state taxes to build roads in Quitman, Taliaferro, Webster and Stewart counties each year and the like.

    While this may be viewed as a setback for mass transit, it could really be one of the first shots in a debate on how we spend our transportation dollars and where. Why is it ok, under the guise of “economic development” for the state to use general treasury funds to turn a 2 lane highway in the middle of nowhere into a 4 lane highway, and also pay to upkeep that road each and every year, but not ok for the state to make a similar investment in non-road transportation on a continuing basis elsewhere?

  2. Jason Pye says:

    it could really be one of the first shots in a debate on how we spend our transportation dollars and where.

    Maybe GDOT will stop pissing away money for something that will service 1% of commuters.

  3. Jason Pye says:

    You could easily be talking about numerous rural roads that are consistently getting repaved and enlarged by GDOT, though.

    But I’m not. I’m talking about a pointless project that is going to serve a tenth of commuters in the South Metro area.

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