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Old 03-30-2018, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
23,218 posts, read 17,419,073 times
Reputation: 5365

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Quote:
Originally Posted by primaltech View Post
This is what MARTA should implement for the Atlanta region:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBART
https://www.bart.gov/about/projects/ecc

Diesel (supposedly clean diesel/ vegetable oil based)-based transit service, that could share usage tracks with freight corridors. Just need to add a track or 2, for capacity.

I can see this working perfectly for Cobb in particular.
Toured one of these at the Atlanta APTA Conference in 2017. It was comfortable, cloth seats, like you would find on any commuter/intercity train.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,554 posts, read 3,018,524 times
Reputation: 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by primaltech View Post
Did I mention I'm so excited that it will be all one, seamless, unified transit system now, on both sides of the river, across county boundaries, and all across the metro.

That just in itself is huge. Plus the fact that now non-MARTA member counties can receive MARTA rail and bus service.
Seamless except for the fact that counties still have to opt in, there are still separate providers, there is even more Balkanization going on with introducing districts, there's still no dedicated state-funding, and heavy rail has been outlawed in certain cases, preventing the existing rail network from really being expanded.

Yeah. Super streamlined.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
23,218 posts, read 17,419,073 times
Reputation: 5365
Senators and House Reps who voted against HB 920. Oh look at how many of them represent Cobb County
Quote:
-- Lindsey Tippins of Marietta, who had previously sponsored and passed legislation requiring a countywide referendum before commuter rail is brought across the Chattahoochee into Cobb;

-- Kay Kirkpatrick of Cobb County, a first-termer;

-- Michael Williams of Cumming, a Republican candidate for governor;

-- Josh McKoon of Columbus, a Republican candidate for secretary of state.

-- and Renee Unterman, a Republican representing the Buford area of Gwinnett County.

On the “yes” side in the Senate was David Shafer of Duluth, a candidate for lieutenant governor.

In the House, among those casting “no” votes:

-- Matt Dollar, a Marietta Republican;

-- Ed Setzler, an Acworth Republican;

-- Rich Golick, a Smryna Republican who is not running for re-election;

-- David Wilkerson of Austell – one of the few Democrats in opposition;

-- Tom Kirby, a Republican from Loganville;

“Yes” votes in the House included:

-- Buzz Brockway of Lawrenceville, a Republican candidate for secretary of state;

-- Earl Ehrhart, a Republican from Powder Springs who is retiring after 30 years in the Legislature. Ehrhart had been among those opposing a special transit district in south Cobb in an early version of the bill. We’re told he helped write the current section that will govern whether Cobb participates in commuter rail expansion.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:26 PM
 
865 posts, read 424,297 times
Reputation: 1064
Southern standards for success are so low.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:31 PM
 
994 posts, read 1,167,614 times
Reputation: 1225
Transit expansion bill passes General Assembly; Cobb delegation overwhelmingly supports measure

A bill to expand transit across 13 metro Atlanta counties and possibly bring MARTA to Cobb awaits the governor’s signature after a marathon day for legislators under the Gold Dome.

Members of Cobb’s Legislative Delegation overwhelmingly supported House Bill 930, which passed the Senate by a vote of 48-6 just before midnight Thursday, the final day of the 2018 General Assembly. The bill also had support from the majority of Cobb’s Representatives, passing the House 155-19.

Some Cobb lawmakers who voted against its passage say they simply weren’t given enough time to read the final version of the complex bill before being asked to vote on it. Others worried the bill would leave their constituents on the hook to pay for transit services that would not reach them.

Two competing transit bills were introduced this session, one in each chamber by the chairmen of the House and Senate transportation committees.

The final version sent to the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal represents a compromise between the bills introduced by Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville, in the House and Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, on the Senate side — though the legislation passed more closely resembles the House version.

Three members of each chamber hammered out differences between the two bills in conference committee into the final hours of the 40-day session, placing the final version of the bill on lawmakers’ desks just before 10 p.m.

HB 930 would allow each of the 13 metro Atlanta counties involved to hold ballot referendums where voters would decide whether to fund transit expansion through a local sales tax.

But concessions were made for Cobb County, which has historically rejected the idea of joining MARTA and supporting long-term taxes for transportation projects.
COBB HAS A CHOICE

County Commissioner Bob Ott said the final version offers three options to Cobb voters. The first, one that residents have always had, is to vote to join MARTA outright. The second option, Ott said, would be for a county-wide referendum on a one percent sales tax for transportation projects — the same option given to residents of the other 12 counties the bill would affect.

But what makes the bill different for Cobb, Ott said, is language allowing its Legislative Delegation and Board of Commissioners to create a special transit district in an area of Cobb where expanded transit systems would likely get the most use.

In that case, a committee consisting of commissioners and lawmakers could create boundaries in which MARTA would operate. Only residents living within the specially-created transit district would be tasked with paying for it.

There are time frames in place for the MARTA option. If a map is drawn by the committee and a project list is approved, it would need to be completed next year before the question is put before voters of that district in a December 2019 referendum, Ott said.


For that to happen, the plans would need majority approval from the committee comprised of lawmakers and commissioners.

Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, who supported the measure, said the final version of the transit bill is exactly what he was looking for.

“I’m very pleased with the outcome,” Ehrhart said Friday morning after a long night of voting kept him out past 2 a.m. “The key for Cobb is we are completely in charge of our own destiny.”

Cobb could skip involving MARTA altogether if voters approve a countywide transportation sales tax, but under the law passed Thursday, MARTA would have to expand into Cobb if the committee opts to create a special transit district.

Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R- west Cobb, said he hasn’t been overly impressed with MARTA’s record of using funds efficiently since its creation in 1971.

He said he wasn’t happy with the conference committee waiting to finish the final version of the bill until the very end of the session. He said he voted against the measure because he didn’t have time to read the 77-page report.

“I’ve said all along if they’re going to have a bill that has long-term effects on any county, I want to know what’s in it before I vote on it,” Tippins said. “It was on our desk for two hours, but in that two hours we (were) probably taking up another 15 or 20 bills and debating them.”

His frustrations were echoed by other members of the delegation who would have liked more time to read the bill.

“Our constituents expect more from us then to vote for a bill and then figure out the next day what’s in it,” said Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, who also voted against HB 930. “For something this big, that’s just not acceptable.”

Rep. David Wilkerson, D-Powder Springs, was one of the few Democrats to vote against the measure. He said he had qualms about his constituents getting taxed for services they may not even be able to use.

“I agree with a regional transit system,” he said. “What I don’t agree with is our ability to pick certain parts of the county that want to participate. … A district could be drawn just to get voters to support it, but not necessarily make sure that everyone benefits from it. I don’t want my district to have to subsidize transit for other parts of the county.”

How they voted
SENATE:

Jen Jordan (D): YES

Bruce Thompson (R): YES

Kay Kirkpatrick (R): NO

Michael Rhett (D): YES

Lindsey Tippins (R): NO

Horacena Tate (D): YES

HOUSE:

Bert Reeves (R): YES

Ed Setzler (R): NO

Earl Ehrhart (R): YES

Sam Teasley (R): YES

David Wilkerson (D): NO

Erica Thomas (D): YES

Rich Golick (R): NO

Michael Smith (D): YES

Teri Anulewicz (D): YES

Sharon Cooper (R): YES

Don Parsons (R): YES

Matt Dollar (R): NO

John Carson (R): YES

Sheila Jones (D): YES

Roger Bruce (D): YES
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Vinings
6,306 posts, read 3,375,266 times
Reputation: 3517
The majority of Cobb's delegation voted Yes for the transit bill. 4/6 senators, and 11/15 reps.

Including my much-appreciated Senator, Jen Jordan, who is a Democrat. My Representative, Rich Golick, who is a Republican representing the conservative Vinings area, voted no.

Elsewhere, Josh McKoon voted against it, of course. (I agree with that guy literally 0% of the time.) But in good news, as of today he is no longer an elected official. And also most of his last round of religious liberty crap failed to pass.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Vinings
6,306 posts, read 3,375,266 times
Reputation: 3517
Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbia Scientist View Post
Southern standards for success are so low.
Always great to see this kind of helpful, productive commentary.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
23,218 posts, read 17,419,073 times
Reputation: 5365
Quote:
Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R- west Cobb, said he hasn’t been overly impressed with MARTA’s record of using funds efficiently since its creation in 1971.

He said he wasn’t happy with the conference committee waiting to finish the final version of the bill until the very end of the session. He said he voted against the measure because he didn’t have time to read the 77-page report.

“I’ve said all along if they’re going to have a bill that has long-term effects on any county, I want to know what’s in it before I vote on it,” Tippins said. “It was on our desk for two hours, but in that two hours we (were) probably taking up another 15 or 20 bills and debating them.”
Tippins is a senior Senator, he knows how Sine Die goes. This sounds like an excuse to me. That's what aides are for.
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Old 03-30-2018, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Vinings
6,306 posts, read 3,375,266 times
Reputation: 3517
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwarden View Post
Seamless except for the fact that counties still have to opt in, there are still separate providers, there is even more Balkanization going on with introducing districts, there's still no dedicated state-funding, and heavy rail has been outlawed in certain cases, preventing the existing rail network from really being expanded.

Yeah. Super streamlined.
The bill doesn't directly in itself ban the non-MARTA transit providers (which would be draconian), but it definitely suggests and nudges the idea along that we don't need all these different operators and systems in the region, especially Cobb and Gwinnett don't need their own systems and providers.

As a result of this bill, GCT will very likely not exist soon, whether Gwinnett joins or contracts with MARTA.

As a result of this bill, CCT also probably won't exist much longer, as Cobb will probably go the route of having MARTA contract operate all the ATL transit in the county, even if it's just minimal bus service outside of the special tax district. That would be a lot off the county's plate.

GRTA will transfer its Xpress bus transit services directly to ATL. I dunno if ATL will have MARTA operate that, or what. If not, it doesn't really matter that much. To the end user it will be the exact same.

And then other counties, like Cherokee or Henry, might or might not want transit contracts with MARTA.

But regardless, all of it will at least be a part of one system, now. With one branding and probably one route numbering and other coordination and cooperation.
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Old 03-30-2018, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Vinings
6,306 posts, read 3,375,266 times
Reputation: 3517
Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Tippins is a senior Senator, he knows how Sine Die goes. This sounds like an excuse to me. That's what aides are for.
So let me get this straight. Your 2 points that you came in here to share are:

1) You don't like this bill, you think this bill is a disastrous garbage fire

2) You are berating legislators that voted against it
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