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Old 05-24-2010, 12:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post

Any other info about MARTA would be greatly appreciated.
MARTA is widely used...I'm not sure where you got your information other than from "one poster who had lived in Atlanta". That's not a reliable source in my book.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mishap View Post
You have to remember Atlanta has fairly huge suburbs so saying it doesn't extend far enough is a bit of a misnomer. From North Springs to the airport is ~22 miles which is a fairly long distance given how many stops you have in the middle. Googling a bit, the longest line in the NYC subway is the A line at 31 miles. I realize that NYC has a dozens more lines but they have density that ATL could only dream of. Stretching Marta another 10 miles up would result in a 1.5hr ride end to end and probably not reasonable for most people and not great at adding more riders given the cost. Greater density and feeder routes to the giant + symbol that is Marta would probably help but Cobb/Gwinnett counties are enjoying their own fiscal nightmares w/o the added burden of heavy rail.
Chicago's Union Pacific Northwest line goes all the way to Harvard, IL which is 75 miles from the city. DC's Red Line goes all the way to Shady Grove, MD which is 60 miles from the city. Alpharetta is 28 miles from the city. But the nearest MARTA station is 12 miles down 400.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconJ View Post
MARTA is widely used...I'm not sure where you got your information other than from "one poster who had lived in Atlanta". That's not a reliable source in my book.
I talked to others on this forum. I also talked to people outside this forum. Whenever I asked why traffic was so bad in Atlanta and whether MARTA was helping with it, they all said the same thing. If more people used it, traffic might not be as bad.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
Chicago's Union Pacific Northwest line goes all the way to Harvard, IL which is 75 miles from the city. DC's Red Line goes all the way to Shady Grove, MD which is 60 miles from the city. Alpharetta is 28 miles from the city. But the nearest MARTA station is 12 miles down 400.


I talked to others on this forum. I also talked to people outside this forum. Whenever I asked why traffic was so bad in Atlanta and whether MARTA was helping with it, they all said the same thing. If more people used it, traffic might not be as bad.
That's the problem- yes, if more people used MARTA traffic would be better, but it's not convenient for many people to use MARTA. In my case, for example, it's roughly a 30 minute ride to the Sandy Springs station from my house, and another 25 minutes on the train to the station closest to my office. Add in some time to park the car, get to the platform and wait for the train, and time to walk to my office, and I'm roughly 1:15 door to door. I do the same drive in 45 minutes on most days and have control over when I come and go.

Now, if there was a line that ran closer to my house (say a 5-minute ride to the station), I may ride the train in, because at that point it'd be more convenient.

That's what many people who try to compare MARTA to larger systems in the Northeast miss- with other systems, you're typically not that far from a station. Where I lived in NJ, I could be at 4 different stations on two different lines into NYC within 5-10 minutes, and the train into NYC was faster than driving, so it made sense to take the train. It doesn't make sense for many here in the Atlanta metro yet.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:56 PM
 
Location: ITP - City of Atlanta Proper
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Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
That's the problem- yes, if more people used MARTA traffic would be better, but it's not convenient for many people to use MARTA. In my case, for example, it's roughly a 30 minute ride to the Sandy Springs station from my house, and another 25 minutes on the train to the station closest to my office. Add in some time to park the car, get to the platform and wait for the train, and time to walk to my office, and I'm roughly 1:15 door to door. I do the same drive in 45 minutes on most days and have control over when I come and go.

Now, if there was a line that ran closer to my house (say a 5-minute ride to the station), I may ride the train in, because at that point it'd be more convenient.

That's what many people who try to compare MARTA to larger systems in the Northeast miss- with other systems, you're typically not that far from a station. Where I lived in NJ, I could be at 4 different stations on two different lines into NYC within 5-10 minutes, and the train into NYC was faster than driving, so it made sense to take the train. It doesn't make sense for many here in the Atlanta metro yet.
I agree with you. For most people who live outside the MARTA service area or (extreme North and South Fulton) yet work in the city, it doesn't make a big difference if you took the train even if you could unless you work in downtown or midtown. I think once the ball gets rolling on commuter rail this will change greatly.
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
I agree with you. For most people who live outside the MARTA service area or (extreme North and South Fulton) yet work in the city, it doesn't make a big difference if you took the train even if you could unless you work in downtown or midtown. I think once the ball gets rolling on commuter rail this will change greatly.
I guess I'm thinking of a city like DC where the train also doesn't extend very far into the suburbs. Even the people who don't live close to the train still make use of it if they work downtown. Whether they drive or take a bus to get to the station is a separate issue. The point is that they don't just skip the train and attempt to drive to downtown, unless it's during off-peak hours. If you lived in Marietta, I can understand why you wouldn't use the train since there's no track that runs northwest. But imagine if you lived in Alpharetta and worked downtown close to a train station. Would you still skip the train and go the whole way by car? Obviously, being able to reach a train station affects whether you'll use the train or not. In other cities, people who work downtown go out of their way to try and live near a train station. If they can't, a lot of them just avoid taking jobs in the city, which in a good job market I can certainly understand doing.
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,732 posts, read 11,782,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
Chicago's Union Pacific Northwest line goes all the way to Harvard, IL which is 75 miles from the city. DC's Red Line goes all the way to Shady Grove, MD which is 60 miles from the city. Alpharetta is 28 miles from the city. But the nearest MARTA station is 12 miles down 400.



I talked to others on this forum. I also talked to people outside this forum. Whenever I asked why traffic was so bad in Atlanta and whether MARTA was helping with it, they all said the same thing. If more people used it, traffic might not be as bad.
It's really not the same thing, Denny. The UP NW line is commuter rail. MARTA is heavy rail, like the CTA (and costs upwards of $150 million per mile to build).

And I can promise you that Shady Grove is HARDLY 60 miles from the District - try 15.

You seem to be severly underestimating MARTA here.......
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:15 PM
 
Location: ITP - City of Atlanta Proper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
I guess I'm thinking of a city like DC where the train also doesn't extend very far into the suburbs. Even the people who don't live close to the train still make use of it if they work downtown. Whether they drive or take a bus to get to the station is a separate issue. The point is that they don't just skip the train and attempt to drive to downtown, unless it's during off-peak hours. If you lived in Marietta, I can understand why you wouldn't use the train since there's no track that runs northwest. But imagine if you lived in Alpharetta and worked downtown close to a train station. Would you still skip the train and go the whole way by car? Obviously, being able to reach a train station affects whether you'll use the train or not. In other cities, people who work downtown go out of their way to try and live near a train station. If they can't, a lot of them just avoid taking jobs in the city, which in a good job market I can certainly understand doing.
Funny you bring that up, but quite a few people who live in the Roswell/Alpharetta/Johns Creek area that work in central Atlanta drive to a park and ride or directly North Springs station and take the train from there. I can't find the source at the moment, but I'm pretty sure that North Springs Station has about 25,000 daily passengers. A lot of cities, including most that have light rail, would kill to have the kind of ridership for their entire system.

Also, we should keep in mind that more transit isn't a cure all. The DC Metro keeps coming up in this thread, and it is a fine system, but even though it has over 100 miles of track, 1 million daily riders, and second only to the NYC subway in usage there is one little fact people often forget: DC has worse traffic than Atlanta.

http://www.newgeography.com/content/...ngestion-nexus

Quote:
Among the large metropolitan areas, Washington, DC had the second worst Average congestion delay, at 22.4%, followed by San Francisco, at 21.5%, Austin at 20.7% and New York at 19.7%.
Personally, I use MARTA every single day to get to and from work and use it most days (except rainy ones) to do my daily tasks. Everything else I walk to in my neighborhood and only occasionally take out my car...mostly for late night jaunts. However, even if MARTA ridership doubled, it wouldn't really solve anything. The last mile of mass transit to suburban neighborhoods and business districts simply do not exist in Cobb, Gwinnett and Clayton county. Until that is built (and there are plans), then stating that MARTA doesn't serve the metro well is a bit of oxymoron. MARTA, as it is currently built, serves the 2 million residents of Fulton and Dekalb county just fine.

The proof is in the pudding. Just go drive around (or take a bus) the surface streets of the City of Atlanta or Dekalb during rush hour. The only time you will encounter traffic is at intersections near the highway. The rest is smooth sailing all thanks to MARTA.

Last edited by waronxmas; 05-24-2010 at 02:30 PM..
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:16 PM
 
9,124 posts, read 32,132,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
Even the people who don't live close to the train still make use of it if they work downtown. Whether they drive or take a bus to get to the station is a separate issue. The point is that they don't just skip the train and attempt to drive to downtown, unless it's during off-peak hours.
That's partly because driving in downtown DC can be a total mess, just like driving in NYC. Driving in downtown Atlanta is a piece of cake- there's no problem with gridlock, so it's not a big deal.

So, if I've got to drive halfway to town to get to a station, it's not worth the hassle to take the train the rest of the way.
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,732 posts, read 11,782,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
Funny you bring that up, but quite a few people who live in the Roswell/Alpharetta/Johns Creek area that work in central Atlanta drive to a park and ride or directly North Springs station and take the train from there. I can't find the source at the moment, but I'm pretty sure that North Springs Station has about 25,000 daily passengers. A lot of cities, including most that have light rail, would kill to have the kind of ridership for their entire system.
Exactly. There are even dedicated exit lanes from 400 directly into the Park & Ride there. I know several North Fulton friends that do this daily, with no complaints.
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:25 PM
 
7,848 posts, read 17,825,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
I talked to others on this forum. I also talked to people outside this forum. Whenever I asked why traffic was so bad in Atlanta and whether MARTA was helping with it, they all said the same thing. If more people used it, traffic might not be as bad.
I'm pretty sure that's true of every U.S. city. For example, if more people used CTA, then traffic wouldn't be so bad in Chicago - which, by the way, has some of the worst traffic in the nation.
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