Georgia Gets $4.1 Million Of Our Own Tax Dollars Back For Transportation Study

In Other News, if transportation studies improved traffic, Georgians would be commuting just like the Jetsons by now.

Fresh on the heals of North Carolina being awarded $545 Million to build high speed rail, (and Georgia’s award of over $40 Million to build a low-speed trolly to steal Rice-a-Roni commercials away from San Francisco), Georgia has received an amount equivalent to the interest on the national debt for exactly two minutes to “study” high speed rail.   From the AJC:

The federal government is preparing to award $4.1 million to Georgia and two other states to develop a multistate plan for high-speed rail between Atlanta and Charlotte, according to the office of U.S. Rep. David Scott, an Atlanta Democrat.

Georgia is taking the lead in the project with South Carolina and North Carolina.

An Internet notice posted by the U.S. Department of Transportation gave advance notice of the grant. A spokeswoman for U.S. DOT, Olivia Alair, did not confirm the award Monday, but said the department “will be making official announcements on Thursday” and had no details to pr0vide before then.

I can only guess Rep Scott asked federal transportation officials if he could have a couple minutes of their time to discuss regional transportation, and they responded with “A couple of minutes?  Sure, here’s $4.1 Million.”

And thus continues the legacy of major transportation initiatives in Georgia.   Yet another study that we can all read while we’re stuck in traffic, or at the airport.


  1. Charlie says:

    And, as a side note/clarification, I phrased the headline that way because the linked AJC article says Georgia won the money. We didn’t win crap. It’s our money, (or at least, it is the money we owe China and anyone with a claim to the Social Security Trust Fund)and we need to quit looking at the federal governement as if it’s the world’s largest freaking scratch-off game.

  2. Progressive Dem says:

    GDOT can’t spend any of “their” gas tax money on trains, only roads and bridges.

    If Georgia wants to remain a leader in transportation, it better adjust its revenue streams.

    • Rambler1414 says:

      Adjusting the revenue stream would help,
      but Georgians also have to get past the stigma associated with transit bringing “those people” into the neighborhoods.

      • Lady Thinker says:

        NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard. That seems to be a problem. Make traffic work but don’t flaw my neighborhood.

  3. Scott65 says:

    States getting Federal money are putting up sizable matching funds (like NC). Georgia cant see fit to do anything of the like so we will get no money till we show a commitment to invest in our own state. “Its our money”…tell that to the rural Georgia projects Atlanta constantly funds at its own peril by shipping its tax revenue to widening roads so Sonny’s property has more value. The way transit has been handled in this state is shameful to put it nicely

  4. Gerald says:

    “And thus continues the legacy of major transportation initiatives in Georgia. Yet another study that we can all read while we’re stuck in traffic, or at the airport.”

    You fail to mention the two somewhat related reasons for this. First, public transportation in general became a dirty word among non-Atlanta Georgians (i.e. suburbanites, those in south Georgia) because of MARTA, because of who generally rides on, runs and supports MARTA. In order to make their hostility to MARTA and public transportation seem more, well, principled and ideologically consistent (meaning as opposed to just openly being against anything that primarily benefited and was controlled by “those people”), the non-Atlanta crowd had to take an (utterly ridiculous) position of opposition to public transit in general, this despite the fact that there were PLENTY of possible public transit projects that would have disproportionately benefited the non-Atlanta folks (i.e. the “Brain Train” connecting Athens and Augusta, as well as projects in the badly congested northern suburbs, and a project to connect Atlanta, Macon, Savannah, Columbus, Albany, Savannah, Macon and Augusta with rail).

    And add that to the allegedly “Reagan conservative” nonsense that “if the private sector isn’t doing it and/or if it doesn’t ‘pay for itself’ then it shouldn’t be done, because it is just another example of creeping socialism! Today, public rail! Tomorrow, a command economy and massive wealth redistribution scheme!”

    It is ridiculous, especially when you consider that the most famous libertarian in the state (and probably the country), Neal Boortz, rides MARTA and has been a longtime advocate of MARTA expansion. But the locals would rather listen to the old time white flight types like Jim Wooten, and their kids who poorly understood actual Reagan conservatism in Kyle Wingfield. It is idiotic: private business does not pay for airports or roads, and a great many roads never “pay for themselves.” (Take a drive through rural Georgia … often you will be the only person on the road FOR MILES, and that speaks nothing of riding on the interstate through Kansas and places like that.)

    10 years from now when Georgia’s economy is wheezing because our neighboring states are well into developing their portions of a national light rail network (and yes, such a network will directly compete with airlines, which will take a bite out of Hartsfield and Delta), I suppose the Jim Wooten and Kyle Wingfield crowd will reinvent history to pretend as if they supported rail – even MARTA and the Beltline – all along and had a plan and funding in place, but some conspiracy involving the Atlanta mayor, Jesse Jackson, and CNN killed it.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      The hypocrisy of Reagan conservatives “if the private sector isn’t doing it and/or if it doesn’t ‘pay for itself’ then it shouldn’t be done, because it is just another example of creeping socialism! is evident in their silence as concerns the I-85 HOT lanes that may not even recover operating costs, let alone the capital cost.

  5. Dave Bearse says:

    At least the study funding would be used to progress an existing multi-state corridor and service that connects to the national passenger rail network, unlike Atlanta-Chattanooga high speed rail that connects to nothing and to the only state spending less per capita on transportaiton than Georgia. Indeed the Atlanta-Chattanooga service plan seems to be to provide public transportation between the Atlanta Airport and northwest Atlanta suburbs and northwest Georgia independent of MARTA.

  6. Charlie says:

    I believe we need to move forward with both commuter rail and interstate high speed rail. The story linked about just touched a nerve because 1) it seemed to classify GA getting $4 Million from fed taxes we pay as something we won, and 2) It’s another study. I think we could actually build a multi-modal station downtown just using the paper from the last 20 years of studies that never resulted in an executed plan.

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