The AJC is taking another look at commuter rail possibilities to link Atlanta to other areas in Georgia.
If commuter rail ever comes to Atlanta, what would it look like? Seven lines using existing freight railroads and extending as far as Macon and Athens have been studied for years. But only recently, with Gov. Sonny Perdue’s support of a pilot line from Five Points south to Griffin, have commuter trains had a chance of serious consideration by state policymakers.
That’s critical, because a substantial investment of public dollars will be necessary — from $100 million to $500 million per line in start-up costs, according to a report by the consulting firm of R.L. Banks & Associates. The payoff? Faster commutes, less traffic congestion and cleaner air.
You can read the rest of the AJC article here where they also have links to other articles that have appeared regarding commuter rail.
I often ride MARTA but I also drive quite a bit, more than I should. The MARTA system in itself isn’t all that bad, however when compared with New York, Washington DC and especially London the MARTA system does become a joke.
The United States in general lags behind most of the world when it comes to commuter rail (with the exception of the north-east AMTRAK corridor but it still isn’t Europe where train stops are as frequent and convenient as bus stops) and we’re really starting to feel the hurt.
Now I know I’m about to get blasted by those of you who for one reason or another, be it legitimate or just plain foolish, oppose commuter rail and the expansion of MARTA, however it is something we simply need in Atlanta… hopefully we can elect leaders in Atlanta and the state with the vision to lead us into the 21st century.