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Old 02-08-2012, 12:52 PM
 
1,642 posts, read 953,095 times
Reputation: 723
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
I actually agree with rcsteiner on this one MARTA argument.

I do think we need a truly regional transit structure and that can only be accomplished if we all drive right in.

However, what people need to realize is the people of Gwinnett and Cobb have their own needs, which they need met. They can't simply be asked to join the tax to pay for all sorts of improvements elsewhere.

It is arguments like these that are driving people away from the idea of joining MARTA. We can't just be a money pot. Money has to be spent very carefully based on where it comes from, but also based on where people travel to and from.

But, I always want to make people understand when I argue for regional improvements, I expect to see and get truly regional improvements.
l.

My issue is a MARTA HRT extension just to access the new terminal is extremely expensive when their other cheaper options that can work well. The same amount of money required can easily be put to better use elsewhere.

Even if we build a second airport MARTA station, what will happen is some trains will go to each station lowering the amount of service at the main
station (90% of the airport's traffic is domestic and will use the main terminal). It will force more transfers for airport travelers or cause people to go to either station and will still look for a terminal-to-terminal transfer.

On a good note...

MARTA is gearing up to look into doing facade and lighting imrovements at the airport MARTA station, so it matches the airport more and doesn't look so 70's-esque dark and dingy.
Gwinnett and Cobb should pay alot of there residents use marta and dont have to pay anything
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:37 PM
 
727 posts, read 562,377 times
Reputation: 338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Staysean23 View Post
Gwinnett and Cobb should pay alot of there residents use marta and dont have to pay anything

I am a huge supporter of MARTA expansion but i have always had a problem with this argument.

If they are using marta they are paying the fare. Also if they are using marta there destination is probleby in Fulton/Dekalb counties so if the spend anything they pay the tax. Even if they dont take marta but come to town for anything they still pay the tax if they buy something.
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
9,913 posts, read 14,182,107 times
Reputation: 2732
Quote:
Originally Posted by Staysean23 View Post
Gwinnett and Cobb should pay alot of there residents use marta and dont have to pay anything
Aye, but there's the point. Most of us don't use MARTA. Most Cobb residents already have jobs, homes, and a plethora of entertainment venues in Cobb, and I'm sure that's also true of Gwinnett.

Atlanta is an option, and a very very good one, but it's not a necessity.
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:39 PM
 
Location: New York, New York
1,667 posts, read 1,680,131 times
Reputation: 1384
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteyNice View Post
For departing passengers there is no difference between which terminal you use. For arriving passengers, it only matters if you checked bags.
I may be misunderstanding you, but arriving international flights (even if its a ferry) must necessarily go to a terminal with a Customs presence.
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,730 posts, read 2,749,276 times
Reputation: 1892
Quote:
Originally Posted by Staysean23 View Post
Gwinnett and Cobb should pay alot of there residents use marta and dont have to pay anything
Actually, most of don't use it. In fact most of us stay in the same county for work and out of those who do work out of county most of us are driving to areas that do not have convenient MARTA connections. Then out of the ones who are doing the traditional commutes downtown/Midtown most still drive. The use is a very small group.

This is largely because MARTA doesn't serve our counties. It isn't present in them or convenient for most people. It often doesn't go to where people want to go. Gwinnett and Cobb counties are no longer small bedroom communities of downtown-centric commuters.

Everyone makes these arguments based on a couple of hundred people that park in the Doraville deck that drive in from the Southern Norcross area. They have done studies based on out of county plates, but they fail to parse out visitors to town (going to an event downtown), people parking long-term (and paying for it, but also not riding daily either), and exactly what county they are from.

Even then, it is inconvenient to drive to and we often do it for things like travel (airport access) and pay a heavy premium on parking, which MARTA profits from too.

The other issue is MARTA stations add value to an area where they are built. Some more than others. The MARTA system has done alot to make land in Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, etc... much more valuable. The reason I mention this is the people of that community are indirectly rewarded. The county/city gets more money in property tax proceeds thanks to the system. However, Gwinnett nor Cobb has that added value. The other thing that should be noted....we are spending money heavily on regional transportation...just not in transit. That is often forgotten. We have existing SPLOST taxes.

In many ways Gwinnett's county-built road network is far better and more robust than DeKalb's county-built road network, which depends more on state and federal highways. Now I fully admit, in Dekalb's defense, much of this is a sign of the times from how we chose to build in the 50s-80s, than how we did in the 80s-today. But, it is also from where we have chosen to place our money and we can't forget that. We didn't have the federal government giving us direct access to 3+ interstate highways running in multiple directions throughout our county. While I acknowledge we use those interstates t0o, I simply am trying to point out that we had to build a larger more robust county-built road network to get around inside our county. This caused us to have to spend our funds differently.

This argument ultimately is very tired, but more worrisome is that is divisive. It makes people not want to set up a system that will truly help everyone. I want regional transit and consistently argue for one, but these arguments do not help.

Fulton and Dekalb Co. decided to build MARTA, whereas Gwinnett and Cobb did not. They should not have to pay for the actions of other counties.

The other issue, which gets more complex. MARTA's cost on operations goes strongly towards busing as well. The rail system has enough passengers that is gets far better farebox recovery, so even -if- we down the road of getting outside counties to subsidize this nominal use, we are actually talking about a relatively small amount of money that won't fix MARTA's major problems, which largely occurs from an expansive bus system serving low-density areas outside the core.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,730 posts, read 2,749,276 times
Reputation: 1892
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteyNice View Post
Why? Just because it is called the "International Terminal" does not mean it is exclusive to passengers travelling on International flights. Those check in kiosk things do not discriminate and the TSA is not allowed to. For departing passengers there is no difference between which terminal you use. For arriving passengers, it only matters if you checked bags.

Actually.....

This exchange was originally about transit connections and whether it is worthwhile funding. I made my point, which people may or may not disagree with. I want to move on from that about this one issue.

I am mainly stating this to keep people viewing this forum from getting confused in ways that might harm them in the future.


Officially, the new documentation from the airport is telling people to go to the terminals they are -suppose to- go to... not either.


They have made a point of explaining international travelers that accidentally went to the wrong terminal and can't be checked in at the domestic terminal to use the shuttle. (It was worded in such a way that gives room for the ability it might be possible, but also it might not be and this a common answer to a problem of multiple terminals)

I also feel it is important to note that not all domestic air operators are present at all in the new terminal to check people in.... Only Delta and airtran. I'm not sure if Southwest is keeping international service or not, so they might not be eventually either.

I also want to mention in an AJC article a while back. They said people could get through security, but they also said the baggage check-in procedures might cause people problems if they attempt to use the wrong terminal.

The international terminal was primarily built for international passengers and it was also built smaller and only to handle the capacity of them as well.

I'm not saying there aren't multi-uses yet, but lets not tell people they can do things until that information is released or things work that way in practice.

I don't want people getting confused at the start and problems caused.

so just to state this clearly... For departing passengers there very well may be a difference to what terminal you use. Some of the information is still to be determined and some of it might depend on what services you need as a passenger.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:09 PM
 
2,827 posts, read 2,368,731 times
Reputation: 1241
It is going to be an absolute cluster the day the new terminal opens. A complete mess.

However, I will grant that

1) going through customs
2) hopping on shuttle, and
3) going to the main terminal

...is way less of an annoyance than...

1) going through customs
2) rechecking your baggage
3) going through security
4) riding the train
5) collecting your baggage again

It just seems like an underwhelming result given a $1 bn investment.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,730 posts, read 2,749,276 times
Reputation: 1892
Quote:
Originally Posted by testa50 View Post
As always, a lot of good ideas. I'm conflicted in general about commuter rail on that route. If it were optimally carried out, I would like it. But from what I've read/heard (which is limited), there would be like six trains daily in each direction.

And I understand they aren't even planning a stop in Hapeville--I know Hapeville isn't Dunwoody or anything, but there are major offices of Delta and Well Fargo within walking distance of downtown, plus Porsche, plus dozens of small businesses (not to mention the 6,000 people who live in geographically-tiny Hapeville who could use it). Surely it would be of some value to Clayton folks to have a stop there.
yea... commuter rail comes with extreme pros and cons that work well for some people and poorly for others. My idea of the "super-stations" and all day service would likely cost significantly more, but would try to make it accessible to more uses.

I think the reason I am attracted to commuter rail is the distance from downtown/midtown is starting to become very large. Even if we had a MARTA HRT rail line it would take alot of time to stop at all the stations and traverse the whole distance.

The problem with commuter rail as a technology is it takes the trains longer to stop, let passengers load, and start up again.

However, the pro is typically more passengers board per stop, the train stops less frequently, and focuses on going a further distance for a shorter time. The problem is there is often a few places along the way where some potential passengers might want to go or where some potential passengers might be picked, but you choose not to create a station to focus on the long-haul service.

I know the Gwinnett routes were primarily going to stop at Downtown, Armour yard (transfer to midtown and Perimeter via Marta and Emory), but they were skipping areas with existing transit service to make it run faster for the long-haul.

Hapeville is also in close proximity to the East Point station Via Cleveland and Central Avenues for locals there, so I'm less worried about making downtown accessible to them via transit when considering long-haul service for Clayton.

As for stopping for the sake as a destination... I'm wouldn't argue either way...There are clear pros and cons to me for both.... just thought I'd add perspective.

6 trains a day to lovejoy or griffin for starting service sounds about right.


I just thought I'd add some perspective on the way I think through commuter rail in general... in the following way:

Route estimates are often about 6000-8000 passengers and I always see arguments of people upset at how low it seems.

I like to compare to adding interstate lanes through the whole corridor. A freeway lane maxes out at around 2,000 cars/hour. In practice merging, hills, and exit/entrance ramps become factors that slow the flow. Most interstates during peak hours have about 1500-1800 cars per hour/per lane. Extreme congestion at peak times can also lower this figure, since traffic speeds can drop enough not fewer cars can use the lane.

What I like about commuter rail is that low passenger estimate is the equivalent of 1-1.5 lanes of interstate capacity the whole length of the corridor for that peak 3-hour period.

Unlike a highway widening, the commuter rail theoretically can carry more people over time with little added capital cost. Freeways max out and must be widened for more people to use them.

However, some of the most important things get overlooked by most people....but indirectly is important to us all. Many businesses choose to locate based to the proximity of where their workers can move to with a good quality of life and where an existing employee pool lives. Inversely new incoming residents do the same.

Commuter rail makes it possible to attract more business to centralized locations, like downtown, and more residents to locations far away... particularly for highly-paid residents and high-paying jobs.

In many ways I feel like new incoming businesses with high-paying jobs are leaving downtown behind and finding areas like Perimeter and Peachtree Corners, etc... to be better locations to reach educated workers, even then congestion is unbearable and Alpharetta-Suwannee on the 400 and 85 corridors is a hotspot for new business right now. They are just well-located to a base of well-educated employees.

If we had an expansive commuter rail system more businesses might say... downtown is better, since we can reach all potential employee pools and areas that are not necessarily near Perimeter Center, Cumberland, Peachtree Corners can become viable areas for a well-educated big business commuter to live.

So it doesn't tackle all uses or all problems, but it does make a sizable dent at some of the largest problem's the region has at attracting businesses and keeping a larger housing stock available for those employees. I think this one problem we have with some jobs looking toward smaller metro areas, like Charlotte. Sometimes a smaller area can be beneficial.

Now from a practical stand point... for TSPLOST... its a must-do to me. It is only $20 million. If we put more in that pot we would increase the chances of making it much more successful.

The state of GDOT has made requests to federal government for funds to update that track to for both passengers and freight between Atlanta and Macon. They request $400 million, but the offer a 0% match on the requests. If we request with a 15-20% match, then we can greatly increase the chances that the project is mostly funded by the federal government anyways and do something that has a much further reach for much less.

My curiosity is always this... can we be innovative... do something new/different, throw a little more money at it in some way that makes it considerably more effective, but cheaper than a more advanced technology?
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Murfreesboro, Tennessee
99 posts, read 99,850 times
Reputation: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by testa50 View Post
It is going to be an absolute cluster the day the new terminal opens. A complete mess.

However, I will grant that

1) going through customs
2) hopping on shuttle, and
3) going to the main terminal

...is way less of an annoyance than...

1) going through customs
2) rechecking your baggage
3) going through security
4) riding the train
5) collecting your baggage again

It just seems like an underwhelming result given a $1 bn investment.
Don't forget this adds twelve new wide-body gates, and all of the costs that go with building an international terminal. As far as airport expansions go, $1 billion for this is on the cheap side. We're going to have 40 international gates when this is done, and this will free up space across the airport (mostly for Delta) for flight ops.

We're keeping our tenant airline happy, providing a new passenger experience, and just think about the money the cities of Atlanta, College Park, and Hapeville stand to make off of this.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:39 AM
 
1,642 posts, read 953,095 times
Reputation: 723
Quote:
Originally Posted by StAubin View Post
I am a huge supporter of MARTA expansion but i have always had a problem with this argument.

If they are using marta they are paying the fare. Also if they are using marta there destination is probleby in Fulton/Dekalb counties so if the spend anything they pay the tax. Even if they dont take marta but come to town for anything they still pay the tax if they buy something.
They pay the fair to ride it. They dont pay the 2 percent TAX in addition like Fulton and Dekalb residents do.
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