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Old 05-09-2016, 02:49 PM
 
2,843 posts, read 3,767,360 times
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Hi, everyone, sorry to be an interloper, but as someone who is interested in transportation issues, I just thought I would put something out there:

I think public transit expansion is a very worthy goal, but taking a step back I wonder if "Expand MARTA" is the only solution. If Cobb county decided to fund a comprehensive transportation plan of it's own, funded by Cobb and built for Cobb, is that really such a big setback? Same for Gwinnett, or even one day Cherokee, Forsyth or Henry. I do realize many will say "What about transport across Atlanta?", but that really should be reserved for some type of commuter rail system preferably organized by the state of Georgia.

I think most people OTP would be more open to a transportation plan they knew was locally designed and locally accountable. Most transportation needs are within the same county or the county next door.
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Vinings
6,336 posts, read 3,418,367 times
Reputation: 3526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shizzles View Post
Hi, everyone, sorry to be an interloper, but as someone who is interested in transportation issues, I just thought I would put something out there:

I think public transit expansion is a very worthy goal, but taking a step back I wonder if "Expand MARTA" is the only solution. If Cobb county decided to fund a comprehensive transportation plan of it's own, funded by Cobb and built for Cobb, is that really such a big setback? Same for Gwinnett, or even one day Cherokee, Forsyth or Henry. I do realize many will say "What about transport across Atlanta?", but that really should be reserved for some type of commuter rail system preferably organized by the state of Georgia.

I think most people OTP would be more open to a transportation plan they knew was locally designed and locally accountable. Most transportation needs are within the same county or the county next door.
Depends on if the end result is the same or not, and if the monetary investment and quality level comes out the same. If Cobb wants to stick with CCT/Cobb Linc, but it provides the same level of service that joining MARTA would provide, with all the same speed and convenience and connections and logical routes (regardless of county lines), then that's all fine and good with me. But in the end scenario you're suggesting, who runs and operates the cross-county bus routes? Like, for example an SR 120 route thru East Cobb, from Downtown Marietta to Downtown Roswell? How would we do that? Or why can't the bus that runs on US 29 thru Tucker, simply continue on 29 into Lilburn? Shouldn't have to transfer buses just because of politics.

Our region has horrible 'balkanization,' especially in regards to transportation. So, a one unified MARTA system, across its intended 5-county service area, ignoring county lines, would go a long way towards resolving that huge problem. That would be my ideal preferred scenario, and then a regional GRTA or whatever other entity could serve the counties beyond that.

With that said, I'm open to whatever we can get, as long as this region wakes up to the fact that we need some options as a greater metropolis, other than sit in traffic which is only going to be getting even worse.
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,554 posts, read 3,043,055 times
Reputation: 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shizzles View Post
Hi, everyone, sorry to be an interloper, but as someone who is interested in transportation issues, I just thought I would put something out there:

I think public transit expansion is a very worthy goal, but taking a step back I wonder if "Expand MARTA" is the only solution. If Cobb county decided to fund a comprehensive transportation plan of it's own, funded by Cobb and built for Cobb, is that really such a big setback? Same for Gwinnett, or even one day Cherokee, Forsyth or Henry. I do realize many will say "What about transport across Atlanta?", but that really should be reserved for some type of commuter rail system preferably organized by the state of Georgia.

I think most people OTP would be more open to a transportation plan they knew was locally designed and locally accountable. Most transportation needs are within the same county or the county next door.
As Primaltech pointed out, the main issue with this concept is how to handle the regional connections. I'm not really talking about something as crazy as a continuous MARTA line from Cherokee to Henry, I'll let GRTA handle that, but for the core 5-counties, where the most trips take place, it makes sense to have a single, unified system.

That way you have a unified fare system, don't require inter-system transfers at the county lines, don't create redundant offices, and don't have weird competition between systems as they all seek federal and state funds for pet projects, as opposed to what the system really needs.

Ultimately, you save time and effort by consolidation rather than maintaining separate systems, and I don't really see loss of local control as an issue on the scale we're talking.

The real issue for preserving local control is to have local politicians who are aware, and who work with the agency to preserve/introduce service as best fits their neighborhoods/towns/corridors. That's something MARTA is more than capable of doing.
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Vinings
6,336 posts, read 3,418,367 times
Reputation: 3526
If Gwinnett were to join MARTA, in addition to the permanent dedicated board member or 2 from Gwinnett on the MARTA board of directors, they could have contract stipulations protecting their local interests, and preventing their sales tax money to be funneled away to other MARTA projects in the other counties.

Clayton County did a great job with negotiating. They didn't just say, "Hey, we'd like to join the system, please give us service"; they specifically worked out that 1/2 penny would pay for a specified bus route service coverage level for the county (which MARTA presented them the details of), and 1/2 would go towards savings for high capacity commuter rail or equivalent, thru the Jonesboro-Forest Park-East Point corridor.

So I don't see why Gwinnett (or Cobb) couldn't do exactly the same thing. 1/2 penny for comprehensive local route and express/commuter bus service everywhere in the county (easy, given the high population and affluence of those counties), and 1/2 penny towards 2 commuter railroad lines that would be mostly in Gwinnett, and partially in DeKalb and Atlanta.

Especially if said commuter rail lines were eventually to go all the way down to the airport in a single seat, as well as directly connecting with Amtrak (with potential future high speed rail), all that just seems like a no-brainer for 1 penny.
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Old 05-09-2016, 05:21 PM
 
10,540 posts, read 7,513,574 times
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No, I think other places putting together their own transit is fine if they do connections right.

But they are not serious about any significant transit funding on their own either.
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:19 PM
 
4,011 posts, read 2,527,671 times
Reputation: 1967
Lol you definitely havent used public transportation from Cobb /Gwinnett to Cobb/Gwinnett/Clayton Co before. OP try using public transportation tomorrow from Kennesaw to Jimmy Carter Blvd via bus and let us know how that works for you

Last edited by fieldm; 05-09-2016 at 06:32 PM..
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:38 PM
 
4,011 posts, read 2,527,671 times
Reputation: 1967
Also try doing what i said on Sunday
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:40 PM
 
6,180 posts, read 5,552,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
No, I think other places putting together their own transit is fine if they do connections right.

But they are not serious about any significant transit funding on their own either.
This is an excellent point by jsvh.

Outlying areas like Cobb and Gwinnett in particular are not really serious about generating any significant funding for high-capacity on their own at this time.

Because of its insistent business community, North Fulton looks to be much more interested in getting high-capacity transit service extended north from the North Springs MARTA Station up to Windward Parkway. But conservative base politics in an election year has that transit expansion effort for the foreseeable future.

In any case, while I once agreed that the five-county urban core of the Atlanta metro region needed to be served by one unified transit agency, I now somewhat disagree that having one unified transit agency cover the entire five-county metro core might be the best approach to upgrading and expanding transit.

With the continuing political differences between Democratic-dominated areas like Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton and Republican-dominated areas like Cobb, North Fulton and Gwinnett, the best approach seems to be to let the areas that genuinely want transit continue to work on improving and upgrading transit in their areas while the areas that are either on the fence about transit and/or continue to be resistant and/or hostile to transit take the time to figure things out on their own.

Like I have stated before in the past on these threads, if and/or when affluent areas like Cobb, North Fulton and Gwinnett decide that they are truly ready for high-capacity transit service, they will act. Those counties have the overwhelming political power and immense financial resources to push Georgia state government to act on their behalf to extend high-capacity transit into their areas and will do so if and when they get ready to do so.

Until then, the focus needs to be on continuing to improve high-capacity transit service and performance in the areas that want it in Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties where MARTA operates.

GRTA Xpress is already operating and very slowly and gradually increasing express commuter bus service in suburban areas outside of the MARTA service area.

Also, with a lot of the region's transit-financing proposals continuing to be seriously deficient in funding (voter referendum-approved 1% and 0.5% sales taxes alone are nowhere near enough to fund the level and/or type of transit that is needed in the Atlanta metro region), until better revenue streams can be found for to fund transit at the level that is needed, the best option seems to let the state and local governments worry about transit service in areas outside of the MARTA service zone (by way of GRTA and county bus transit agencies) while efforts continue to be made to improve service within the MARTA service zone.
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:41 PM
 
6,180 posts, read 5,552,363 times
Reputation: 4201
Quote:
Originally Posted by fieldm View Post
Also try doing what i said on Sunday
What exactly did you say on Sunday?
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:46 PM
 
4,011 posts, read 2,527,671 times
Reputation: 1967
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
What exactly did you say on Sunday?
Take public transportation from Kennesaw to Jimmy Carter Blvd
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