GA 400 Toll: Stay or Go? But you promised!

From the AJC:

If a board led by Gov. Sonny Perdue votes Friday to keep the tolls on Ga. 400 after 2011, it will be breaking the promises state officials made in years past.

But it also will be creating a revenue stream, largely under control of a board the governor chairs, that could build several projects the state can’t afford to do now.

The State Road and Tollway Authority board, chaired by Perdue, and the state Department of Transportation’s board are each scheduled to meet Friday and discuss the Ga. 400 toll.  DOT would decide whether to keep leasing Ga. 400 to SRTA, and SRTA would then decide whether to keep the toll.  The listed projects might not even be part of the vote, and are subject to change.

SRTA provided the list under the Georgia Open Records Act.

An SRTA project list and the rest of the article can be found here.

90 comments

  1. AubieTurtle says:

    If the toll stays on GA400, you can pretty much write off any other toll project that hasn’t already been approved. I know they want to find a way to continue to fund SRTA but it shouldn’t be up to the users of GA400 to subsidize the services SRTA provides to the entire state.

  2. CobbGOPer says:

    Gosh, politicians are breaking their promises to the voters? Say it ain’t so! Did anyone honestly expect them to give up their cash cow? All I can say is we should never vote for another toll project in this state, or for anyone suggesting such a project. Because they all just turn into another tax on the citizens.

    • Rambler1414 says:

      “Because they all just turn into another tax on the citizens.”

      WRONG.

      They’re taxes on the USERS OF THE FACILITY.

      Don’t want to pay a toll? Live close to work. Better yet, ride transit. Carpool to save money. Don’t buy your Mansions in Forsyth County and then whine about your commute to Midtown costing more.

      • Rick Day says:

        You are not from these parts, are you?

        Dude….there is no transit from the north. MARTA just cut it’s services drastically. There are about 2 million commuters between the outer loop of 285 and Forsyth County.

        You are also completely dismissing hundreds of thousands that buy homes up north, only to lose their jobs that had a good commute, but now have new jobs that are farther away.

        Your conservative sneer of ‘deal with it yourself’ fails The Reality Check, in this case. Quit being a meanie.

  3. Dave Bearse says:

    I have serious reservations about toll revenues being used for road improvements on SR400 north of the Abernathy interchange, a couple miles north of I-285. Using toll revenues for improvements north of Abernathy transforms the toll to a tax on SR400 users ITP to fund improvements OTP.

    • Steve says:

      Uhh… but traveling from OTP homes to ITP jobs is the only real purpose to GA 400. The only ITP users are in Buckhead (already next door to I-85) and maybe Northside Hospital patients.

      • AubieTurtle says:

        I live downtown and use GA400 to get to Buckhead and never pay a toll. I suspect that many others who live south of Buckhead do the same. While I agree that using the current tolling point for funding along the entire corridor is unfair, there is already unfair usage going on. I’m not sure why the whole GA400 corridor should be in the toll world when the rest of the roads in the state get funded by property taxes, general fund money, SPLOST taxes, federal money of many sources, and of course the gasoline tax.

        The funding and subsidy structure of our roads are pretty messed up. Tolling in theory is a fairer way of paying for roads but there isn’t much fair about GA400 being the only tollroad. It’s not like it is a bridge to an island with a limited number of users.

          • Dave Bearse says:

            Steve, a significant fraction of SR400 toll traffic, tens of thousands of vehicles daily, operate only between I-285 and Buckhead or I-85 as can be observed by traffic on the ramps between I-285 and SR400 south of I-286. Perimeter Center is a large employment center and many commute there from ITP or south of the city.

            Imprvements needed north of I-285 needed? Add toll booths near the Chattahoochee.

        • HCL3 says:

          The solution is to add tolls to all of the interstates and major highways in Metro Atlanta. The people who make the choice to live in the suburbs and exurbs should bear the cost of keeping up the roads that take them in and out of town.

          • Dave Bearse says:

            Another solution would be to stop using 10% of metro Atlanta gas taxes to build economic development highways in rural Georgia, i.e. convert two lane highways such as US441 with less than 10,000 vpd to four lane divided highways.

            It’s not that such highways aren’t a good idea, it’s that they should be funded in some or large measure with economic development appropriations, not road user gas tax dollars.

            • Rambler1414 says:

              Amen.

              A big problem with transportation funding in this state is the sheer # of counties we have. Each politician has their own pet project that should be built in the name of “economic development”!

              It’s called the Governor’s Road Improvement Program, GRIP.

          • MSBassSinger says:

            Yep. Let’s put tolls on all the roads entering Atlanta.

            Then watch many of the small to medium sized businesses move out to the “burbs” and leave the crime-riddled, corruption-saturated, mismanaged Atlanta to fall further into disarray.

            For the record, those of us who live outside Atlanta and have the misfortune to drive in already pay for the roads through various taxes.

            • HCL3 says:

              It was your choice to live outside of the city and drive in. You should not expect those of us who decided to live intown, close to our workplaces to subsidize your lifestyle. Nor should you expect the people who don’t even live in Metro Atlanta to subsidize your lifestyle.

              However, if we are going to continue to have a system where Metro Atlanta residents pay for 4 lane roads to nowhere in South Georgia and intown people pay for roads going to the suburbs and exurbs then it is a matter of fairness that there also be a subsidy for mass transit in the metro area.

                • JohnnyBoy says:

                  Since roads in Georgia are primarily funded out of general funds, which everyone who pays state or federal income taxes pays into, instead of gas taxes or tolls, the amount we contribute is not nearly commensurate with our usage of the road system. Since MARTA gets no state money, if I take a MARTA train to work, I’m paying for your means to get to work, while you contribute nothing towards mine. Hence your commute is subsidized.

                  • Dave Bearse says:

                    Johnny, I don’t disagree with your statement that roads in Georgia are primarily funded with general funds, but that’s because:

                    1 – Local roads are funded with general funds, e.g. property taxes and SPLOSTS, and local road expenses are probably larger than state system expenditures, and

                    2 – The sales tax component of state motor fuel taxes, ostensibly a general fund revenue (as opposed to the excise tax component of state motor fuel taxes), is dedicated to roads and bridges.

                    The interstates, state routes, and the substantial state and federal funds expended on local roads are very largely funded by state motor fuel excise and federal motor fuel taxes that are road user taxes.

                    I make the distinction because the discussion here largely concerns state and (via the state) federal funding.

  4. Lone Star Georgian says:

    I think the toll should stay. I also believe that there should be tolls entering the city on I-85 and I-75 as well. Anywhere that we are making road improvements or constantly repaving should have a toll. User fees are the fairest taxes, after all. Only the people who use the road have to pay. That would free up some state revenue for other transportation projects, such as the beltline or some MARTA expansion. Face it, folks, We’re never going to be a truly global city without some world class transportation.

    • mountainpass says:

      Lone Star,
      You think a toll booth they promised would come down should stay? I suppose you are also OK with them doubling the toll to a dollar, because they are tired of counting our quarters. If you want to pay more taxes you are welcome to.
      No matter how much money MARTA is given, it will waste it. My idea of a world class city doesn’t involve riding the subway.

        • hewhoone says:

          MARTA is “one of the more cost effective systems in the country”? Might as well say someone is one of the skinniest people on The Biggest Loser.

          • JohnnyBoy says:

            I suspect you’re just trolling. When you look at the real costs of roads and driving (especially if you consider time lost in traffic as lost productivity), mass transit is far more cost-effective.

            • hewhoone says:

              Do you have data to support your claim that transit is more cost-effective?

              Roads are the basic requirement for society to function. Roads must exist for MARTA buses, ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, grocery deliveries, etc.

              Time lost in traffic wouldn’t be an issue if the government spent an appropriate amount on the necessity of roads and less money on expensive, inefficient rail systems.

      • “My idea of a world class city doesn’t involve riding the subway.”

        Could you please name one world class city that does not have a subway or some form of rail / light rail?

        • Quaker says:

          Atlanta is not and never will be a “world class city”. Frankly, the area is too politically conservative to be world class anything.

          • ChuckEaton says:

            I’ve heard Atlanta called a lot of things, but I’ve never heard it called “politically conservative.”

            I guess it’s all relative, maybe it’s more conservative than San Francisco, but that’s a close call; you might have to go international and compare Atlanta to Stockholm before you put “Atlanta” and “Conservative” in the same sentence.

            • Scott65 says:

              call it what you will…but BART/MUNI kicks our ass hands down, so guess you are implying that it takes liberals to get the job done…interesting

        • mountainpass says:

          I said “My idea of a world class city doesn’t involve riding the subway.”
          Staples said “Could you please name one world class city that does not have a subway or some form of rail / light rail?”
          Please read what I said again.

          • Errm… I did re-read what you posted before I replied. World class in my opinion meant you were implying well known cities around the world – New York, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, etc. If your idea of world class is Helen, GA then I suppose no… there probably isn’t any subway in your world class city. 😛 (Unless you’re just talking about you not personally riding it but the city still having a subway… in which case what does it matter?)

            • mountainpass says:

              You got it, I wouldn’t ride the subway. I’ve ridden MARTA several times and didn’t feel safe. Although then I was not allowed to carry, thankfully now I can.

              • Well, MARTA isn’t much of a Subway and I’m not really a fan of it myself. It only has the two main lines… North-South and East-West. I’d like to see it run along the perimeter of 285 as well.

                I’ll take San Francisco’s transit systems over ours any day of the week. (I didn’t particularly care for SF itself while I was there… but I like their transit systems.)

                • polisavvy says:

                  The BART is pretty awesome. I agree with you about San Francisco — a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.

      • Lone Star Georgian says:

        Is your idea of a world class city sitting in traffic while your kids smoke a pack of cigarettes by playing outside on a summer afternoon?

        • mountainpass says:

          Lone Star wrote “Is your idea of a world class city sitting in traffic while your kids smoke a pack of cigarettes by playing outside on a summer afternoon?”

          Why are you attacking my non-smoking kids on here.

          Two can play that game.

          My idea of a world class city doesn’t involve sitting in traffic, nor being robbed by your dope smoking kids waiting on a subway train.

    • MSBassSinger says:

      What exactly is world class? And who says how other countries live is something to strive for? We already have it better than Europe, Japan, China, or anywhere else. At least until Obama, the Democrats, and the Rockefeller Republicans deconstruct America to be like the rest of the second rate socialist world.

      • JohnnyBoy says:

        Might want to double check that statement. The US ranks 13th in the Human Development Index, which accounts for life expectancy, GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power parity (an adjustment for differences in cost of items between countries), and knowledge & education. We are behind Norway, Australia, Iceland, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Japan, Luxembourg, and Finland. Eight of those (not counting Iceland) are in Europe one is Japan, and Australia counts as “anywhere else.” So your statement is only correct if you amend it to say “We already have it better than China,” which we happily do.

        Also, the median household income *after taxes* in Canada is greater in terms of purchasing power parity is higher than the US’s before taxes.

        I suspect your first impulse is to get defensive and tell me to move to Europe or Canada, but for intangible reasons, like proximity to my family, and patriotism, I still regard the US as the greatest country in the world.

    • hewhoone says:

      The problem with continuing the toll is that the state promised voters that the toll would end when the road was paid off. To continue the toll without another voter referendum would be fraud will doom any future toll projects.

      Continuing the toll could also contribute to the defeat of the proposed transportation tax. The proposed transportation tax also has a sunset clause but the voters are unlikely to fall for that same trick twice.

      Regarding MARTA’s efficiency (or lack thereof), some people seem to be confusing comparative efficiency with actual efficiency.

      • polisavvy says:

        People could adopt a “once bitten, twice shy” attitude and never agree to transportation tax. As a general rule, people don’t like to be lied to. To continue the toll is could definitely impact future transportation tax votes, as King Wolfgar said. That should be considered when the decision is made of “should it stay or should it go.”

  5. KingWulfgar says:

    The toll needs to go. Just because suddenly there are other projects where the money could be useful isn’t a reason to keep it beyond the promised period. When Washington does the same thing, people scream (and rightly so)–why is this any different?

  6. ZazaPachulia says:

    Keep the toll and triple the cost!

    (granted, I’m an unabashed southsider who never uses 400… And I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to live in Forsyth County)

  7. Steve says:

    I know that we have some zany far-out chat here on Peach Pundit… but you guys talking about adding MORE toll stations to GA400, and to I-75 and I-85 as well, are quite simply off your meds.

    I’m becoming known here as one of the “left-wing guys” (I don’t believe I’ve shifted anywhere, but rather Peach Pundit has). In my humble “libr’al” opinion, you guys are nuts.

    Georgia freaked out over the proposal to pay a toll on 316 to get to their Saturday Dawg games. This state will tolerate interracial gay marriage officiated by a Wiccan minister in a liquor store on Sunday before it tolerates a universal toll to enter the city of Atlanta. Even if that were to happen… it would only accelerate the current trend of technology and service industry jobs moving to North Fulton, while probably shrinking the economic pie overall.

      • MSBassSinger says:

        There is something we agree on. I’d love to see light rail to the suburban counties. I’d ride it every workday from Canton to midtown.

        I suspect if one were to dig down and found out why there isn’t a rail system to the population centers in Cherokee, Cobb, N Fulton, etc., one would find government getting in the way of a private sector solution, rather than facilitating a private sector solution.

        • HCL3 says:

          I think its more a matter of subsidizing roads to the point where a private rail solution would be unable to compete. If drivers bore the true cost of road construction and upkeep then things might be different.

          • MSBassSinger says:

            The roads benefit all Georgians, even those who don’t use them. When you buy food grown in Georgia by farmers who use Georgia roads, you benefit. When you buy stuff in the store that was transported over Georgia roads, you benefit. Need I go on?

            Your premise is flawed and short-sighted.

            We all benefit from roads all over Georgia, and we all pay for them.

            • Scott65 says:

              …as do all Georgians benefit from commuter rail. Less traffic, cleaner air, more dependable schedules to get where you need to go

        • Lady Thinker says:

          I agree. There has been talk for at least ten years about having the brain train run from Athens to Atlanta and if has only gotten to the, “We need to do a feasibility study.” stage which never materializes. Some sunk costs are aready in place, like some of the needed train tracks between the two points.

          I feel this project won’t get off the ground until all of us put pressure on our state officials to get a bill ready for discussion in January. As Dale Peterson said, if everyone does a little bit, then something about it taking off to fruitation. There, I put out a misspelled word for someone to jump on.

          • Steve says:

            Dale Peterson called for government subsidized rail? Heh, I guess that’s the nice thing about not really saying of substance at all… people just insert whatever substance they wanted to hear.

            • Lady Thinker says:

              No, he didn’t say that. I was using his statement about doing something constructive rather than complaining and doing nothing to make my point. After re-reading my post, I can see I may not have been as clear as I could have been.

          • Dave Bearse says:

            LT:

            Griffin commuter service that would cost approximately $350M to construct had been environmentally cleared and was ready for design and construction in fall 2002. There is (or perhaps now was) on the order of $100M in federal funds appropriated toward the cost.

            Feasibility studies and rudimentary enviromental assessment work for Athens commuter service that would cost approximately $600M to constrcut was completed in 2004.

            Five words why there is no Athens commuter train operation: GOP Governor and General Assembly. Sonny do-nothing did nothing, and the General Assembly doesn’t care.

            • Lady Thinker says:

              Dave,

              You are absolutely right and I can’t argue with anything you said. This state has had the means and opportunity year after year after year to do the right thing and they have failed miserably.

          • Scott65 says:

            LT…you would be horrified at the amount of money that has been wasted on literally hundreds of such “studies”…they should know them by heart…we are well beyond the “study” part of our program. They throw out the term study to mean “no we wont do it now”

            • Lady Thinker says:

              I know, all that money thrown away when knowing before hand they would not build the rail system. We need to put pressure on our state legislators to make them do the right thing. I am contacting my state Senator Renee Utermann, and express my displeasure over this issue. If nothing changes, I may consider running for her seat when it expires.

  8. Lady Thinker says:

    The state said the 400 toll plaza would be taken down once the road was paid for and it wasn’t. Now the state wants to keep the toll plaza up AND double the toll because of the economy, without giving voters any input. This seems to be more of the typical bureaucratic thinking.

    Everywhere you look or go taxes and service fees are going up. My property taxes doubled, utilities increased, all forms of insurance I am paying increased, salary decreased as furloughs were implemented, jobs are nearly non-existent, and the economy is stagnant, regardless of what the Obama administration says.

    Then we have Barnes, Monds, and deal. As a lifelong Republican, I have always voted a straight ticket. But this time, I just don’t see how I can do that. Every candidate has pros and cons, although for the life of me, I cannot see any deal pros, only cons.

    We as a society will get through this but we have too many serious issues to put just anybody in because of the letter beside their name. I am heavily leaning toward Barnes since 2500 votes robbed us of the rightful candidate who has what it takes to mend fences and move Georgia forward.

    We don’t have to luxury of voting for a candidate with our preferred lettering, there is too much at stake. We have to vote for the best person regardless of party affiliation. There is no doubt that I don’t have anything positive to say about deal and it really isn’t because Karen lost, rather, it is because deal has had 18 years to do the right thing and become a leader but he still is a follower. We need a strong leader to lead Georgia and of our choices, deal just isn’t “the one.”

  9. Scott65 says:

    The one thing that needs to be fixed on GA400 is the interchange with 85N. The estimated cost is in the 40 million dollar range. After paying off the bonds for GA400 construction in June there is going to be a 40million surplus which will pay for the ramps connecting 400 to 85N. Why this was not done originally is beyond me. The state already owns the land and has had discussions (albeit brief) with the neighborhoods affected (Lindridge-Martin Manor) and has designed several options.
    @kyleinatl …hate to tell you man, but LA has a subway and is using stimulus funds to rapidly build it out.
    http://archiculturefilm.com/director/?p=771

    • Harry says:

      MARTA was once a leader in rail transit…who cares?

      If being “world class” means people find it more attractive to ride MARTA than drive, then forget it.

      • AubieTurtle says:

        I’m pretty sure everyone knows by now your real motives for being opposed to anything MARTA related. While many others share your opposition to mass transit, don’t ever mistake that for them agreeing with your motives.

        BTW, have you bothered to apologize to the members of the MARTA Board who you called racists for not hiring someone of your race? Seems like it is about time that you do.

      • Scott65 says:

        I think we all care. Forward thinking officials in the other cities in the link I posted will reap enormous benefits from their build outs. We could have been doing the same and had a vastly superior system, hell they didn’t even finish the original build out plan for MARTA. That has as much to do with our dysfunctional legislature (D or R) and our whacked state structure of a 5000 counties (yes I exaggerate).

  10. gt7348b says:

    What does MARTA have to do with a Republican Governor proposing to extend a toll on a road with no public input? Even if the promise of removal of the tolls was made by Democratic politicians no longer around and if the projects proposed do have potential public support, why try to do this in secret? I personally suspect given a choice, reasonable amount of input (say 6 months of meetings and comments) you could build support, public support, for extending the tolls for a speciic list of improvements. However, this Republican Governor who chairs the board decided otherwise.

    And yes, Gena Evans is still the executive director of SRTA. Just like Jannine Miller (GRTA ED and former SRTA employee and Governors transportation policy advisor) owns a patent on the PeachPass technology (Google “Jannine Miller patent”)

    • AubieTurtle says:

      Have you ever been to demonstrations or protests that appeal to mostly left wing or right wing crowds? You’ll notice at the leftist events that no matter the stated purpose of the protest that just about every extreme left position is represented. Anti-war rallies will end up with people protesting on gender rights, sexual orientation issues, pro-communist issues, abortion rights, social justice and about a thousand other issues. The right wing protests on the other hand will be mostly on message. Not 100% but much much more on message than the leftist protest.

      Similarly, anytime the subject of roads comes up, no matter the context, mass transit, land usage and eventually bicycling and pedestrian issues will get mixed in. They just can’t help it.

      GA400 tolls is a perfect example. It would be a great opportunity for them to simply hammer the Republicans on the toll issue but they just can’t help bringing in other issues. So a conversation that could have been about Republican hypocrisy ends up being about MARTA which with this crowd ends up being about all of MARTA’s perceived failings and the subject of GA400 keeping tolls gets sidelined.

  11. Lone Star Georgian says:

    It doesn’t make sense to think about roads in a vaccuum without an eye toward how they fit in to the rest of the transporation matrix. It also strikes me that people who have never ridden a subway are so allergic to them. In many places, they’re quite nice. They carry you from point A to point B in a predictable fashion, allow you to read your paper/book/iPad/Glenn Beck online university lesson in peace, without your needing to white knuckle at 20 mph through some G0d-awful interchange designed by Good ‘ol Boys drunk on bourbon.

    Okay, so that’s a bit hyperbolic. But why would someone be “opposed” to mass transit? It provides options for people. Yes, to be fair it requires a subsidy, but roads are already subsidized FAR out of proportion to the economic benefit they bring. Plus, MARTA is one of the least subsidized systems in the country. You all whine about its service and performance, but maybe you should try funding it to see what it can really do. Instead, we leave the opinion-making to reactionaries who hate mass transit for no other reason but that they associate it with people and countries that they don’t like. Then, we all sit and wonder why we’re sitting in traffic all day long.

    MARTA could help its case by hiring a CEO with some credibility outside the perimeter. As a proponent of expansion, I think a fair-minded, retired Republican businessman would make a perfect fit. Any takers?

    • kyleinatl says:

      Exactly, improving our mass transit lines is the ONLY way to improve traffic conditions in Atlanta.

      The problem with MARTA is that it doesn’t really go anywhere that you want it to go…like David said above, all you get is N,S,E,W…and that’s about it…how about a couple of diagonal lines to start and making sure the beltway project gets up and running too…if you give people the right options and make sure that we actually get Federal funding for mass transit, it will improve things…tolls don’t do anything but congest backroads and collect more money.

      • HCL3 says:

        Don’t forget that tolls also have a traffic control element. Congestion will get worse on GA400 if you remove the toll.

        • mountainpass says:

          HCL3 wrote “Don’t forget that tolls also have a traffic control element. Congestion will get worse on GA400 if you remove the toll.”

          Congestion will be relieved on other roads. It’ll balance out.

          • kyleinatl says:

            Agreed, I would also argue that the tolls themselves create their own backup of traffic in the lines that form at rush hour.

  12. gt7348b says:

    Actually Mr. Bearse the federal portion of the gas tax no longer covers the federal road expenditures since 2008 or so and the gap has been made up by federal general fund dollars (ie Income tax subway and bus riders pay into as well) . Google Highway trust fund deficit. Also, a gas tax is a proxy for a user Fee. A true users fee would be a mileage tax coupled with a time and facility fee.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      GT:

      Both your points are correct (but there’s KISS to consider when commenting on a blog).

      I didn’t Goggle it, but am confident the federal fund portion is a relatively small fraction of total federal highway transportation dollars.

      Motor fuel taxes don’t precisely match tax to service cost, but they’re as good as it gets given current society, infrastructure and technology. (Indeed the most important purpose of the I-85 HOT lane is to develop the general technology and experience for the the type of road user charge you’re referring to.)

      And of course there’s been no conversation on this thread concerning the whole host of indirect road costs imposed collectively and independent of motor vehicle road use—air and water degradation, noise, energy, health care etc.

    • hewhoone says:

      Was there ever really any doubt? Gena Evans and SRTA had already collected $40 million more than they were supposed to. It just goes to show that we can’t trust politicians with our money regardless of the party.

  13. kolt473 says:

    just like MARTA when then mayor Maynard Jackson first proposed the Atlanta rapid transit system way back in 1973 -74 nearly 29 years ago he promised the fare would be 25 cents forever after it first opened up for service best ride in town. Then the shocker it doubled to 50 cents and been rising ever since, MAYNARD LIED. As for the tolls, the state got addicted to extra money, they to lied. money is like alcohol when you get addicted, its hard getting off the gravy train. DOT excuse, road is going to be maintained, therefore the toll stays for another decade, provided the world is still here. These politicians are alleged liars, don’t take them at face value, once they get addicted its hard to let it go, the toll is permanent, that you can count on. Barnes dipped into the toll funds to buy that land for the state, remember??

  14. B Balz says:

    1.) Pols lied about removing the toll on GA400 and the fallout will be minimal and manageable. I could care less if it costs me $.50 to zip into Buckhead. $1.00 for cash will force many to buy the Zipcard, one less expensive employee. Others can find a dollar bill more easily than $.50, and will pay.

    2.) $20MM annual toll revenues will be used for whatever, and no real accountability will emerge. BIG Surprise!!!!

    3.) ITP/OTP is an absurd construct, just another way to label. Yet another way to divide ourselves.

    4.) Many, not me, Atlantans hate mass transit. Except for a ride downtown to see a game, the airport, and maybe an event at the Arts center, many people ‘frum heah’ do not use it.

    If Atlanta had a distance sensitive fare based, time effective mass transit system that reached the outlying counties, connected to an efficient regional express system, people still would drive.

    Atlanta is a service based economy, how can one make dynamic appointments and use mass transit? One drives their SUV, alone.

    • Yep, the only times I’ve taken MARTA in the last year or so from Alpharetta were driving to North Springs and taking it down to the airport. When I move to Powder Springs tomorrow, I’m certainly not taking MARTA when it’s closer / quicker to just drive to the airport. I’d love to see an outer loop for MARTA that ran along the side / middle of 285.

  15. Scott65 says:

    Problem is the metro counties refuse to pay for MARTA so its restricted to where it can go. Thats going to be a big problem that hopefully will be addressed in the next legislative session. If the 2012 vote is for a “regional solution”, then why should Dekalb, Fulton, and Atlanta still have to pay the 1 cent sales tax in addition to the new sales tax? Thats a no go for me. They want to keep the tolls because they are anticipating it wont pass (and it wont as written)

  16. aaron says:

    I didn’t read ALL the comments, but one thing that no one stated is that our roads are already funded somehow (including 400), so why are we adding (extending, whatever you want to call it) a tax/toll? Okay, then stop the other tax that pays for GA 400. Make the toll revenue neutral, don’t add more revenue generation for our governor that is giving a parting middle finger to everyone in Georgia with his fiscal irresponsibility. (zero based budgeting SB1, SB148, etc.)

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