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Old 12-18-2015, 11:26 AM
 
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Here's what Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, arguably the second-most powerful figure in Georgia politics behind Governor Nathan Deal and the presumed frontrunner in the 2018 Georgia Governor's race, said in a recent interview with the Gwinnett Daily Post about broading the vision and mission of MARTA to serve more of the state of Georgia:
Quote:
After his speech (to the Gwinnett Chamber), Cagle said talk about where transit goes and what role it plays in transportation planning is a “serious conversation” for regional and state leaders need to have.
He said that includes a talk about what the state should do with MARTA, or what role it would play in a statewide transit network, but he added that it was unlikely to take place in 2016. That does not necessarily mean turning it into a statewide transit authority, though, he added.
“We really need to look at, in my opinion, a new structural model for MARTA with a different brand and somewhat of a different mission,” Cagle said. “We really do need a commuter rail option with in our state and I think MARTA, with the existing infrastructure that’s there, may be able to be retooled and looked at to create a value added for the citizens …
“The existing model needs to be changed. A lot of people don’t see value in stopping every five minutes. You show value by people being able to guarantee people delivery times and being a transit option where there’s limited stops. That kind of infrastructure is very, very needed.”
The lieutenant governor’s comments on transportation also came in a year that saw the General Assembly approve sweeping changes to the way transportation projects are funded, but he added that issue will still linger in the 2016 session. Although the reforms approved in the 2015 session created new revenue streams for transportation projects, state leaders still have to sort out how those options can be used, Cagle said.
“Now, it’s about where that money is going to be spent — the strategic plan focusing on where those dollars are utilized, and to bring us better outcomes,” he said. “That’s the important part. Money doesn’t solve all of your problems if it’s not deployed in the most efficient and effective way, so that strategic plan will be a big topic next year.”
Link to the Gwinnett Daily Post article: "Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle outlines transportation, education as key issues for 2016 legislative session"
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle outlines transportation, education as key issues for 2016 legislative session | Business | gwinnettdailypost.com


These comments by Lt. Governor Casey Cagle are notable because he has on a few occasions in the past made comments that eluded to the possibility (or even likelihood) of Georgia state government playing a much larger role in funding and managing MARTA in exchange for expanding multimodal transit service (most notably, passenger rail service) beyond the current footprint of Fulton and DeKalb counties.

Last edited by Born 2 Roll; 12-18-2015 at 11:40 AM..
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:37 AM
 
Location: North Atlanta
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While I appreciate his sentiment, a rebrand would be a tremendous waste of money.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:41 AM
 
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Cagle has zero chance of being governor. I don't mean that from a political standpoint but from a skeletons in the closet standpoint.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:48 AM
bu2
 
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Originally Posted by Gulch View Post
While I appreciate his sentiment, a rebrand would be a tremendous waste of money.
Probably essential to get it to expand. Makes it more palatable to bring in additional counties.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Seattle
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I hate to say it, but the MARTA name has a stigma and a race and segregation aspect to it. It's stupid, but true that the name is probably a big factor there, because of history and stereotypes and whatever. White conservatives in the north suburbs have a knee jerk negative reaction to the word.

Maybe what should happen is something like this: MARTA (and CCT and GCT) gets absorbed into GRTA, which is a state-level agency, and all the transit assets get re-painted, re-branded, etc. New color schemes and logos and stuff. New direction with its advertising as well.

GRTA gets to operate in the entire state, at a base 1% tax level in every county. That way commuter trains and buses can connect not just everything in the Atlanta metro, but can connect Georgia's different regions together with serious transit. Different technologies can be used wherever appropriate. Heavy rail for ITP, commuter rail for Gwinnett, or whatever.

And then counties or cities could choose to have additional GRTA tax pennies or half pennies that could last for a set number of years, like Fulton or Atlanta could pay up to 2% total- in order to build and expand various transit projects. But always pay the 1% base rate for maintenance and basic service. Whole state would have to pay it, but would also get transit in every city and county that wants or needs it, and a statewide regional commuter train system.

I don't know, something like that. The current model is so ridiculous. Competing little tribes. Ugh.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:59 AM
 
2,878 posts, read 2,631,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primaltech View Post
I hate to say it, but the MARTA name has a stigma and a race and segregation aspect to it. It's stupid, but true that the name is probably a big factor there, because of history and stereotypes and whatever. White conservatives in the north suburbs have a knee jerk negative reaction to the word.

Maybe what should happen is something like this: MARTA (and CCT and GCT) gets absorbed into GRTA, which is a state-level agency, and all the transit assets get re-painted, re-branded, etc. New color schemes and logos and stuff. New direction with its advertising as well.

GRTA gets to operate in the entire state, at a base 1% tax level in every county. That way commuter trains and buses can connect not just everything in the Atlanta metro, but can connect Georgia's different regions together with serious transit. Different technologies can be used wherever appropriate. Heavy rail for ITP, commuter rail for Gwinnett, or whatever.

And then counties or cities could choose to have additional GRTA tax pennies or half pennies that could last for a set number of years, like Fulton or Atlanta could pay up to 2% total- in order to build and expand various transit projects. But always pay the 1% base rate for maintenance and basic service. Whole state would have to pay it, but would also get transit in every city and county that wants or needs it, and a statewide regional commuter train system.

I don't know, something like that. The current model is so ridiculous. Competing little tribes. Ugh.
Overall, I like your ideas. But there are a lot of counties where there would be no transit for decades. It doesn't seem completely fair for making huge swaths of south and central (and north) Georgia pay for transit that won't effect them. If you want to connect Columbus, and Macon, and Atlanta, and Augusta, and Savannah... great. But taxing rural counties for something they wouldn't really benefit from seems unfair. Then again, there are many instances where I'm sure tax dollars from Metro Atlanta are subsidizing those areas, so whatever.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulch View Post
While I appreciate his sentiment, a rebrand would be a tremendous waste of money.
I agree that a rebrand of MARTA would be a tremendous waste of money.


But what Lt. Governor Cagle seems to be talking about from his point-of-view as an exurban resident (Cagle resides in exurban Chestnut Mountain just outside of Gainesville in Hall County) is rebranding (and retooling) MARTA so that the transit service is much more palatable and appealing for the suburban, outer-suburban and exurban voters that currently dominate Georgia's electoral process.


Lt. Gov. Cagle also has some very close relationships with the very dominant North Metro Atlanta business community that wants much more high-capacity transit service connectivity in and between Northside suburban and exurban areas like Buckhead, North Fulton, Cobb and Gwinnett.


Cagle basically represents the Northside business interests who are increasingly looking to make a play for control of MARTA so that they can expand high-capacity transit service (including rail transit, bus rapid transit, etc) throughout the suburbs and exurbs of Metro Atlanta and North Georgia.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:16 PM
 
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Cagle and his powerful Northside business allies see the real estate market changing to where properties that have the most direct high-capacity transit access seem to be increasing in value more that properties that don't have direct high-capacity transit access....And Cagle's powerful business allies seem to want much more control over what they think (or know) will be a very lucrative tool for development and profit-making (in MARTA-style high-capacity transit service) moving forward in the 21st Century.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:19 PM
 
Location: North Atlanta
5,806 posts, read 4,233,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
Cagle and his powerful Northside business allies see the real estate market changing to where properties that have the most direct high-capacity transit access seem to be increasing in value more that properties that don't have direct high-capacity transit access....And Cagle's powerful business allies seem to want much more control over what they think (or know) will be a very lucrative tool for development and profit-making (in MARTA-style high-capacity transit service) moving forward in the 21st Century.
We've had this conversation before. "Northside business interests" aren't going to wrest control of a multi-billion dollar public agency from Fulton/DeKalb taxpayers without significant legal pushback, and that's assuming they'd even want to do it in the first place.

They could do the same thing (utilize MARTA as an efficient resource) without getting involved in that mess.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,528 posts, read 3,899,824 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveklein View Post
Overall, I like your ideas. But there are a lot of counties where there would be no transit for decades. It doesn't seem completely fair for making huge swaths of south and central (and north) Georgia pay for transit that won't effect them. If you want to connect Columbus, and Macon, and Atlanta, and Augusta, and Savannah... great. But taxing rural counties for something they wouldn't really benefit from seems unfair. Then again, there are many instances where I'm sure tax dollars from Metro Atlanta are subsidizing those areas, so whatever.
Well, the most rural regions of Georgia don't have a lot of people or much commercial activity going on, so they wouldn't be paying much of the total bill with their sales tax penny. But the idea would be that every county could get at least something to show for it, such as 1 park&ride commuter rail stop at the county seat, to cover their region, which would be a way to get to Atlanta and their airport when needed.
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