Olens prefers Light Rail.

From Peachtree Screed:

Sam Olens, chairman of the Cobb County Commission and chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission, is leaning away from bus rapid transit, or BRT, as a solution for service along the northwest corridor —- the area between Atlanta and Marietta.

“It’s always been my position that light rail would better serve the northwest corridor than BRT,” Olens said. “And it’s not just the 75 corridor. Light rail should be going up the 85 corridor and along 285.”

Once there were proposals to extend MARTA along Ga. 400 up to Windward and to extend rail up to Gwinnett Place mall. Now would be a good time to reconsider and revive those plans.

It has been proven in other metro areas that rail is a much easier sell than buses when it comes to asking voters in a referendum to pay for transit. Plus, rail has far greater potential to stimulate transit-oriented development than BRT.

Olens said he began becoming more supportive of rail when the I-75 HOV/BRT project kept getting expanded and was projected to cost $4 billion. Once we’re talking billions, Olens said it’s time to think rail.

“If we are looking long-term, we really need to handle more capacity than BRT can handle,” Olens said, adding that he supports additional transit throughout the region.

7 comments

  1. Trackboy1 says:

    Whether you agree with Olens or not on this, the guy is one of the most intelligent, impressive elected officials I’ve ever met. Have heard him speak in person multiple times, and he brings a level of intelligence, integrity and good ‘ole common sense that only a few elected officials in this state have. This guy would be a star in any other profession.

    Most regional issues are extremely complex and complicated, and can’t be solved with simple sound bites. This guy truly “gets it” (kind of the anti-Glenn Richardson).

  2. CobbGOPer says:

    Well, with Glenn Richardson and his like at the Gold Dome, “gets it” has a completely different connotation…

  3. The Comma Guy says:

    As much as I’d love to see us have a true regional rail system like DC or the SF Bay area, it’s too late. Many of the places where rail would work the best have now been paved and developed.

    And of course, any attempt at regional rail would require some type of relationship with MARTA…

  4. Trackboy1 says:

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/printedition/2007/05/01/metinterstate0501a.html

    Typical. A $1.8 BILLION project becomes a $4 bil project just like that. That f-ing ridiculous tunnel under the ATL will triple or quadruple before all is said & done, and will end up in the tens of billions. Who loses? Taxpayers. Who wins? Road bulding interests, and their lackey/whores Linnenkohl, Doss, Evans, Kenn, etc. Mass transit is part of the solution, just a part, but it looks like we’ll be spending tens and tens of billions to increase capacity, not because it is the solution, but because a whole lotta connected people will get filthy rich off such.

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