Metro Atlanta area legislators were surprised to learn that an amendment to a bill passed late on Day 40 of the recent session of Georgia’s General Assembly added Cobb and Gwinnett Counties to the MARTA system effective July 1st. County residents will not be given the opportunity to vote on an additional 1 cent sales tax to fund the expansion, and collections will begin the same day.
The provision was added to the last draft of the HB 60, the “gun bill,” by DeKalb County Representative Nan Orrock. Orrock told her hometown newspaper, Creative Loafing, “I don’t want guns in my church, and those Cobb Crackers don’t want MARTA at their new stadium. Seems like a win-win to me.” Rep. Orrock later told the paper she was aware that the Atlanta Braves were not changing their names to the Crackers, but she remained hopeful additional late amendments to last-day legislation in the next session could fix this.
Preliminary plans indicate a new rail line will originate at from the Arts Center station, which is currently serviced by Red Line and Gold Line trains. The proposed White Line would conceivably parallel the red line to Perimeter Mall before turning West along I-285 to meet Cobb County’s preference that all passengers on the White Line arrive from either the North or the East.
Gwinnett’s rail line would extend the Gold Line up I-85 to the “Why is it still open?” Gwinnett Place Mall via the new Platinum Line. Running alongside the new HOT/Lexus lanes, the Platinum line will only take up two existing lanes of the expressway. “You really can’t call it a freeway anymore” a SRTA spokesman told the AJC. “And with two more lanes of 85 giving way to mass transit, the HOT lane fares will be increasing a bit. Luckily, our payment processing agents can now hook our customers directly to FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.”
Governor Deal could still veto the proposed legislation, but a campaign spokesperson said this was unlikely. “The Governor has made it clear that he supports the 2nd Amendment in as many places as possible. If MARTA is required to move guns to and from Atlanta’s suburbs, then MARTA is just another way to spell ‘freedom’, you might say.”