Fayette County Issues Tea Party logo
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WE THE PEOPLE of Fayette County... cannot be complacent about our future
 
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  No T-SPLOSTTransportation  Investment  Act  of  2010   no T-SPLOST

 


 
TSPLOST outcome

GA TP day4
Feb 22, 2012; Ed Setzler points out the Act's three fatal flaws as Fayette County Commissioner Brown reviews notes

Commissioner Steve Brown at TIA press conference Aug 15, 2011; Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown speaks during a press conference on the 2012 sales tax referendum for regional transportation projects
   

Quick Guide...

Our Position (short version)
Fayette County Projects

More Government
Position Paper
Download Powerpoint presentation (see it below)
Additional Resources
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Contact your Roundtable members
Draft Act to Create Transit Authorities
Overview presentation slides

Where's Waldo? Of the 102 northbound cars, the $3.2b will reduce the count by two (hint: drivers in the 2nd car in the HOV lane and the white car changing lanes in the middle are taking a bus or train to work).

Summary slide    Traffic relief from $3.2b

View Recent VideosNo T-SPLOST logo

- A short explanation of our serious concerns about the proposed new T-SPLOST taxe's benefits on congestion relief
- Regional government official, "I don't have an answer for [how we'll pay costs]."
- Regional government's Research Division Chief, "Your commute really won't change that much [after spending $8.5b

 

 

The Act has two stated purposes: alleviate gridlock and develop and promote essential public interests.  Everyone who's familiar with commuter traffic in the metro region can readily appreciate the purpose of alleviating gridlock, while the need to provide essential public interests is open to real examination. Where do you draw the line between projects that serve special interests vs the public interest?

The Act shall be implemented through regions with the same boundaries as the state's Regional Commissions. Each of the 12 regions in the state has developed its own project list and shall vote as a region whether to approve a 10-year 1c increase in Sales & Use taxes to fund their projects.

On July 31, 2012, voters throughout the region will vote on a ten-year 1c sales tax increase to fund the projects (the tax period is extendable).  If the majority of voters in a special region approve the measure, the tax shall be imposed on all counties in the region- even those who did not favor the measure or will have any/significant projects built within them.  The measure may pass in one or more regions and fail in the others.


Our A, B, C's of TIA

Agree

- That transportation is a key element of the region's future (others include public safety, education, employment, fiscal stability, and quality of life)
- That surface traffic is a significant problem in Atlanta and the greater metro area

Believe

- That congestion has also been the result of land management practices in some counties, resulting in clogged arterials and intersections
- That we each make life style choices where we work and live, and that those choices have consequences... which may sometimes involve commute challenges

Confront

- Inclusion of very expensive, heavily subsidized, and under-utilized transit projects
- The potential loss of local control of zoning and transportation from a GRTA-like bill. 

As expected, this undertaking will be very expensive- the state economist projects that Fayette County alone will collect $190,000,000 in TIA  taxes over the authorized ten-year period. 

Our Goal

Based on objective cost-benefit analysis, we support priority highway, bike, path, aviation, and fare-sustainable transit projects; we oppose projects that require massive subsidies from non-users, using regional taxes for individual jurisdictions' economic development projects, incursions into local government/home rule.  Absent these outcomes, we urge the defeat of the 2012 TIA tax referendum.

In recognition of the significant nature of transportation to our region, we shall also:
- Support land use plans that distribute future growth within the greater Atlanta metro area instead of development that increases already strained transportation means into/out of very high density work centers
- Support the much more extensive use of smart traffic signals, van/car pooling, and telecommuting
- Identify ammendments to the law that we could support in an effort to mitigate current transportation challenges and position the region for continued success going forward

 

Presentation Graphics

 

slide 1, GA capitol

1. Transportation is one key to economic prosperity and quality of life, as are public education, safety, and water. My remarks address an initiative by the 2010 Georgia Legislature to tackle current and future transportation challenges in the state. All of us will have to assess whether the legislature’s effort, the Transportation Investment Act of 2010, is in the best interests of our family, community, businesses, county, region, and state. Get past the emotions and ask:  What are the purposes? How much are we willing to spend on them? What is the most efficient way to accomplish them? Responses will then answer “What are we getting out of it?” as well as, “What are we getting into?”

population growth

2. These are the 10 counties of the Atlanta Special District as designated in the TIA 2010. Note the relatively small footprint of the city of Atlanta to the district or metro area, and that virtually all of the population growth is outside the City of Atlanta




 

 

TIA 2010 RTR process

3. Here's a broad overview of the Act. We don't understand why "and the state" was inserted in the ballot language; the Governor supports the measure, so we have sent repeated requests to his office for an explanation- his office has not responded.


4.  Voter decisions will result in one of the two outcomes shown.  The "match" refers to how much money local jurisdictions have to pay towards road maintenance or improvement projects (with the state paying the balance). Obviously, the law provides a penalty to everyone if the majority of voters decide not to tax themselves. .  

 

Revenue & Allocations

5. These are the estimated Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) receipts and allocation of them to counties and projects within them. 

The GA State economist estimates that a 1c 10-year regional sales tax would bring in about $7.2B for transportation use; 15% would be returned to the counties for their discretionary projects, and the remaining 85%, or $6.1B would fund construction, operations, and maintenance of projects approved by the Regional Transportation Roundtable of elected officials in the 10-county region.

Transit projects are not planned for every county, yet every county will collect more taxes than it receives in projects and Local Distribution dollars.  The sum of those differences, shown in the last column, equals the amount of money for transit projects.

Cost comparison with Denver & Charlotte systems

6. “But it’s only a penny” say the proponents. No, it’s one more penny! … on top of quite a few other pennies! It's also a 12% - 17% increase in the current sales tax rate for most counties.

Here’s how much sales tax you’re already paying and the additional amount you’ll pay if the referendum passes

 

 

 

 

SPLOST allocation

7.  The approved project list allocates over half the tax dollars to very expensive transit projects that have under-delivered in the past and with no evidence that they will reverse their declining ridership in the future.

The difference in the future, is that now shoppers in 10 counties, not just two, will bear the burden of funding government operated buses & trains for only 5% of commuters.

Cost & funding levels for transit

8.  The full cost of projects on the Draft Recommended Investment List is shown in blue, and the amount funded as of August 15, 2011 is in red.

We believe that this profile leads to sunk transit costs over the next decade whose benefits can only be realized by yet additional decades of SPLOSTs.  It will amount to throwing more and more good money after a "too big to fail" system.

 

ABCs of TIA

9.   These points summarize the Fayette County Issues Tea Party position on the TIA We strongly believe in the link between land use planning and transportation needs, challenges, & solutions. Gwinnett County, for example, adopted a land use plan that included considerably more business, including strip malls, than Fayette County did.

We cherish the rural character of our county and it’s reflected in our land use plan. Gwinnett has benefitted from more impact fees and a broader tax base, but there have been consequences: more traffic and congestion Fayette’s preservation of a more rural character is facing budget consequences.

We wouldn’t expect Gwinnett to pay for the consequences of our decision, and vice versa. We are also very concerned about the potential loss of local (city & county) control if a Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Authority is enacted with influence or control of county zoning or transportation choices that may be dictated to us

 

Atlanta crime rate

10. How many of you use a cell phone? Your spouses? Your children? Grandchildren? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to have a single line?   No dropped calls, no going over your minutes, and no need to replace the phone in a year.

So, why don’t we all opt for the Princess phone instead of cell phones and their headaches? Because we also value our time & flexibility- we don’t want to have to conform our complex lives around a fixed origin, destination, and schedule to talk with everyone throughout our day.

And so it is with transportation; our lives, personal, business, and social, are built around individual needs and schedules that don’t fit all with the limitations of mass transit. We also use our cars for carrying small children, groceries, and numerous other cargoes.

Except in selected, very compact & densely populated urban work centers like Tokyo and Manhattan, NY, rail doesn’t get many people out of their cars… for many of the same reasons … how do the economics stack up?

 

Revenue allocation

11. As you can see, population iin the 10-county Special District increased 20% over the past decade, but the number of boardings has decreased (one rider who boards a bus to a train station, then boards a train near his destination, and, finally, takes an in-town bus to his destination counts as three boardings. Therefore, the number of boardings is more than the number of people served).

This contrasts sharply with proponents’ claims that transit will take more and more drivers off the road. In a California study, “A Causal Analysis of Car Ownership and Transit Use,” the Institute of Transportation Studies (University of CA, Davis, 1989), stated that “The study suggests that the increase in car use, which is a consequence of increasing car ownership, may not be suppressed by improving public transit.”

And if transit doesn’t lure people out of the cars, transit will contribute very little towards eliminating gridlock, reduced fuel consumption and improved air quality. Let’s see the numbers…

Population vs MARTA ridership

12.   The columns depict gallons of fuel consumption in Georgia, which increased slightly during the middle of the period, then began to dip slightly. During the same period, the number of cars & trucks registered in the state rose almost 20% (available data doesn’t show how many are registered in the ARC, but does show that state fuel consumption held steady during an increase in autos (2%), buses (31%, and trucks (42%).

The reduction in gasoline consumption was not due to transit, but to: Travelling less (we're back to 2002 road-miles travelled); getting better mileage; not idling as much (use of smart signals, controlled interstate access, etc)

 

 




 

Vehicles vs gasoline

13. Transit proponents also claim that its use will make major contributions to air quality. As we have already seen, if transit fails to reduce car, truck, and bus use, it will have little impact on improving air quality. The chart above is current as of August 2, 2011 for Days of Non-Attainment.

As you can see, all six air quality measures have trended down during the same period that car & truck registrations have trended up and population growth has increased dramatically in several key regional counties. The GA Environmental Protection Division stated that SO2 declines were due in large part to the use of low sulphur fuels and changing environmental conditions.

A 1993 study found that coordinating traffic signals would cost a few tens of millions of dollars in a large urban area and produce 5x the air pollution benefits of building a 20-mile rail transit line and doubling bus service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost-benefit

14.  “Mass transit benefits everyone directly or indirectly, so we should all contribute to it” is the clarion call of many supporters. But special interests often invoke the claim of a desired project under the mantle of its serving the “general welfare”. How do we distinguish what truly serves the general welfare?

Economists, including Nobel prize winner and former head of MIT’s Economics Department Paul Samuelson, identify two criteria for sorting out what serves the general welfare, as shown here.

Two examples are also shown. The government cannot provide national defense to citizens of Atlanta and reasonably exclude those of Marietta. Nor does the provision of national defense to either city’s citizens diminish its availability to citizens of the other city; therefore, national defense serves the general welfare Transit, such as the MARTA rail system, clearly meets neither criteria: purchase of a fare card and using it to enter the gate is clearly a reasonable means of allowing some aboard and excluding others. Similarly, a rider’s use of a train seat clearly reduces (denies) its use to others during that ride.

Proponents go on to argue that some members of our region cannot own or operate a car, and would be without transportation. That's a meaningful issue, but not one solve with $3.2b of additional transit. Institutions other than government must continue to step up:

- Like-minded citizens & service organizations
- Faith based
- Charitable
- Family

 

Subsidy per rider

15. MARTA's 2010 Annual Report (p. 71) states that its buses and rail services recorded a combined passenger count of 146m for that year.  An individual taking a bus to the rail station, riding the train to work, then returning the same way counts as four boardings even though only one individual was served.

Let's say the 146m boardings occurred evenly over the year (which we know it didn't), and each passenger boarded twice a day (to and from their destination).  Then 146m / 365 days / two boardings per person = 200k riders.  Divide them into MARTA's $508m operating loss and taxpayers are subsidizing each person to the tune of $2,500 a year.

The actual number of people riding MARTA each year is no doubt greater than 200,000, but MARTA's overall expenses are also higher ($732m) than the operating costs used in this quick estimate. No matter how you you cut it, transit amounts to earnings re-distribution.

cars vs air quality

16. Proponents further argue that transit is essential for attracting new employers and associated jobs. While transportation is important, it is not the only critical consideration business men & women use to assess future locations.

Two qualities that usually top most lists is public safety (crime) and education (for children of existing employees as well as those prospects they’d like to work to hire). US News & World Report’s Feb 2011 story shows Atlanta is only one spot away from topping the list of 11 cities with the highest crime rate in the U.S.

The Governor’s investigation of the Atlanta Public School System states that “Thousands of school children were harmed by widespspread cheating in the Atlanta Public School System.” Enticing new business to such an environment is a tough sell, even if you can tout new highly-subsidized, underutilized transit.

 

1990 jobs & transit17.  This is a baseline graph showing the % of metro jobs' within a half mile of bus & train stops/stations.  As you can see, over half the jobs were within that distance.  Would employers value proximity to transit and create new jobs close to stops & stations?

This, and the following four graphs, by Alain Bertaud's study, "Clearing the air in Atlanta: transit and smart growth or conventional economics?", Journal of Urban Economics, p 379 - 400.

1990-1998 new jobs & transit18. This shows that to a very large extent they did not: in fact, the number of jobs closest to the city center (that is best served by transit) actally dropped, and the number of jobs beyond a 1/2 mile from stops/stations increased dramatically.

 

 

 

Population & transit19. This next graph shows weher new residents ecided to live, and it's apparent they also did not put a premium on living close to public transit- with over 85% choosing to live outside a 1/2 mile distance from a stop or station.

City Densities20.  One final look; this shows the relative density of people to the center of cities in Asia, Europe, and the United States.  Our cities, and Atlanta in particular, have flatter density curves that show how much more spread out we are.  There is simply insufficient density in the Atlanta metro area to support MARTA bus and train service .
 

Density options21.  Barcelona, Spain and Atlanta are both regional economic powerhouses, have hosted an olympics, and have a similar number of miles of rail transit.  In Barcelona, however, 60% of the population is within 600m of a transit stop, but in ATL only 15% were (1998). 30% of Barcelona’s trips were via transit (and 8% by foot); in ATL, only 5% of commuters use transit (presumably the most likely period for its use).

What government action would provide us with the same access to transit that Barcelona’s population enjoys?  How can we stimulate a density increase in built-up areas?

- Increase the supply of transit to lure more people to live & create jobs nearby? From 1990 to 1998, 400,000 new jobs were created here, but relatively few in areas served by MARTA rail.  In the downtown area, 10,000 jobs were lost in areas within a 1/2 mile of transit stops! In contrast to Asia & Europe, access to transit doesn’t seem to be a major consideration when locating a business or developing housing.
This strategy has simply not worked over the past 20 years.

- Regulate land use to allow higher densities close to transit and restrict development outside transit’s reach. Even using actual population growth from 1990 through 2010 and ARC’s projections through 2040, the resulting density would only be 35 people per acre- still left than half what urban planning experts recommend even for bus service. And that assumes we allow NO MORE additional land for residential use than was zoned for that purpose in 1990!

- A zoning strategy may also achieve the density goal by restricting the population to a smaller area; in other words, condemn some existing residential land. in Atlanta’s case, 57% of the existing residential area would have to be condemned to achieve the desired density recommended to support transit.
This strategy also requires no further comment.

criteria for being for the "general welfare"

22.  Also consider that U.S. cities with the most extensive transit systems say population growths significantly lag the national rate.

Chicago saw its population decline 2% against a national increase of 9% NYC also has an extensive public transit system, and its population grew less than 25% of the national average WA, DC, with an expanding public transit system, only grew at a rate about half that of the nation Denver’s rate was close to the national average, but their 31/2% unemployment may contribute much more than their transit system!

Conversely, each of these cities has significant operating losses and maintenance backlogs, as evidenced by MARTA’s $508m annual operating loss and $1.2B maintenance backlog.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Why we don't ride transit more

23.  These figures from MARTA Annual Reports show the utter economic futility of public transit in our special district. Annual losses are typically subsidized from capital accounts, the federal government, and DeKalb-Fulton taxpayers.

other transit systems

24. Transit supporters also point to Denver and Charlotte’s new systems; unfortunately, they follow the exact operating loss pattern as every other U.S. transit system

 

 

transit funding sources

25. As you can see with the first column, MARTA carries only 5% of the metro area commuters (source: GDOT) The second column shows that MARTA rail riders enjoy ticket prices that are heavily subsidized by taxpayers in Fulton & DeKalb counties. And despite the fares & subsidies, the system has run an annual operating deficit of over $500m for the past two years.

The last two columns reflect the proportional differences between rail and highway building costs and Operating & Maintenance costs. Alhough different data sources reflect some differences, consider how much of a swing would be necessary to change the overall conclusion.

The TIA would forcefully redistribute earnings from taxpayers in all ten ARC counties to subsidize the transportation budget of MARTA rail riders. Is that government’s role? Is that the best way to improve air quality? Is that a fair way to provide transit to those who cannot otherwise afford it?

High speed rail is even worse, compelling governors in FL, OH, & WI to turn down billions in federal funds for such system.

MARTA operating losses

26.  In response to heavy subsidies to transit riders, transit proponents argue that highway users are also subsidized by the Federal Highway Administration. Not so.  Note the significantly greater amount of non-user payments (red portion of the currency) re-distributed for transit.

Bonds are often used to quickly raise funds for transportation projects, then paid from tax or toll revenue over time. Since the vast majority of Georgians use highways, it is safe to assume that they contribute (through taxes & tolls) to a large amount of the bond payment


 

 


 

 

 

Reasons we need roads27. Even if you never drive on a highway, here are five reasons you have a direct stake in them.  City emergency services use them exclusively, as do state and federal disaster relief efforts.

Eat?  Your food is delivered to relailers by highway also.

 

 

More government

28.  The Fayette County Issues Tea Party is also concerned about the potential for another layer of government, in the form of a Transit Authority, between the county and state governments.

The Governor created a Task Force to draft legislation to create a regional transit authority to better coordinate service and expenses among MARTA, GRTA, Cobb and Gwinnett Transit.  The 2011 legislature is expected to debate that bill.

 

family costs

29. The Georgia State University College of Law reviewed GRTA’s (Georgia Regional Transit Authority) enabling legislation and summarized it in this article. We take great pause at the high lighted passage 30. Who are the primary beneficiaries?



TIA P & L

30. “Follow the money” is good advice here. On June 8, 201,Siemens Corporation hosted 250 attendees to the Metro Atlanta Northern Crescent Transit Summit at the Cobb Galleria.

Siemens builds 1 out of 3 light rail vehicles in N. America.  Andy Macke, Chairman of the Greater North Fulton County Chamber of Commerce and Comcast’s VP of Government & Community Affairs, gave a very fanciful rationale for mass transit that “could indirectly help Comcast’s fleet of service vans get to customers quicker.” Rob Garcia; Cobb County CofC Chairman, President & COO, Bank of North Georgia said the “Purpose is to factually make the business case for high-capacity rail in the northern suburbs”.

 

Fayette County projects

32.  The Metropolitan Atlanta Chamber of Commerce played this role in the Atlanta Public School System investigation, hoping to have an internal APS report “finessed” past the governor, rather than shine the light of truth onto an extensive educator cheating scandal.

MAC and Red Riding Hood

Are you comfortable with the motives of the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC)?

 

 

More government

33.  Mass transit, which we’ve seen is very expensive and under-delivers, is not the only means of meeting our regional transportation challenges. Here are several alternatives that are much less costly to taxpayers:

- Commuters have availed themselves of companies that will rent them a van and maintain it, relieveing commuters of that significant capital cost and making it affordable to share the rental expenses with fellow commuters
- Telecommuters almost doubled in the region between 2007 & 2010, from 4% to 7% (more than the number of transit riders!) Market Wages.
- Some downtown companies already recognize their employees’ commuting costs and provide them a stipend or rail passes. This places the cost with its beneficiary- the business that’s reliant on transit to move employees to its place of business.
- Some other companies, like Microsoft, Safeco, and Schering-Plough (a Merck company) have established & operate commuter concierges to optimize employees’ commuting options; some even operate their own transit service.

All of these are market solutions to market issues that governmnet should stay out of.

GRTA law review

34. Here are two major, and divergent, approaches to accomodating regional growth.  Trying to do more of what's been done over the past 50 years, moving millions of people into and out of a central work center, has reached a practical limit in many areas.

Creating multiple work centers eliminates the wholesale movement of people employed there- achieving congestion reduction, air quality, lower gasoline use goals that transit proponents unsuccessfully pursue through expensive, under-used, heavily-subsidized buses & trains.

 

 

 

 


 

Actions35. Here are some actions you can take to defeat wasteful, unsustainable spending and more government

Actions

 

 

Who benefits?

37. Without your individual and our collective action, we will be saddled with the transit money pit; will the very well-heeled special interests work harder than you?

Join and contribute your ideas and energy to defeating the transportation tax .

 

RTR Chairman Bucky Johnson hosts the Aug 3, 2011 meeting
Mayor Bucky Johnson chairs the Aug 3, RTR meeting

 

FAQs

Q1: What does “transit” refer to?
A1: Heavy and light passenger rail service, street cars, and buses

Q2:  Why don't private companies provide market-based solutions?
A2: They do where it is profitable and they are allowed to (some metropolitan transit authorities prohibit such competition). Private enterprise provided over 90% of urban mass transit prior to WW II. Then cars became less expensive and commuters used them to drive back & forth to work from the suburbs.

No U.S. metropolitan transit system sustains its operations, maintenance, and capital expenditure programs through fare revenues; MARTA covers only 20% of such costs through fares. Such heavily subsidized systems make it impossible for a free market alternative to compete.

 
     
  Q3: How did government get involved?
A3: Appeals to the federal government led to the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, which provided large grants to metropolitan transit authorities that had been created to manage new transit systems. Accepting grant money to start up a system binded transit authorities to accept collective bargaining with unions.
 
     
 

Q4:  Doesn't transit reduce automobile use and relieve highway congestion?
A4:  It does, but only 5% of Atlanta metro commuters choose that form of transportation because:
         - Transit stations are not convenient to many people’s trip origins and destinations
         - Transit schedules do not match people’s needs
         - People need their cars to carry things and other people (kids soccer team practice Wed afternoon)
         - Some people do not feel secure on transit
         - Some people do not like being crowded together on transit

MARTA's 2010 Annual Report shows that rail & bus boardings have dropped 6% & 17% over the past the past ten years… when our 10-county population has grown 20% and car & truck registrations have grown 19% in GA

 
     
  Q5:  Can transit save gasoline and reduce our dependence on foreign suppliers?
A5:  See above. Since transit has such a small impact on reducing highway traffic, it also has little impact on overall fuel use. GA gasoline consumption has increased a mere 3% from 2000 to 2009, and peaked six years ago.
 
     
 

Q6:  Would proposed transit projects improve our regional air quality?
A6:   See A4 above.  Without taking substantial numbers of cars off the road, transit has little impact on air quality, and much less than initiatives like low sulphur fuel

 

Q7: Doesn't transit serve the general welfare of the entire metro area?
A7: It does not. True government service to the general welfare meets two criteria - The service cannot be reasonably excluded from anyone (ie, it serves everyone) - Providing the service doesn’t diminish it for anyone else (everyone is served equally). Requiring a paid fare card is a clear & reasonable means of excluding people (who don’t pay) from using the service Once seated on a train or bus, that space is unavailable to others for that trip

 

Q8:  Isn't transit necessary to attract new businesses
A8:  A reliable, clean, safe, and efficient transit system is certainly an asset, but it is by no means the only one that businesses consider for their operations and employees. They also review such factors as:
       - Public safety (crime statistics; Atlanta ranks 2nd in highest crome rate)
       - School systems (Atlanta is investigating what is suspected to be the largest teacher/principal cheating scandal in the US
       - Economy of the area
       - Availability of water
       - Quality of life

 

Q9:  Some riders cannot afford a car, transit is their only option
A9:   Businesses that depend on transit-dependent employees should compensate those employees sufficiently to get to work & back home. They can increase wages, provide a transit stipend, or provide bulk discount fare cards. Absent such actions, they are profiting from taxpayers’ transit subsidies

Government is only one of many institutions in our society, and its primary purpose is to secure our individual rights (not provide heavily subsidized commuting alternatives to 5% of the population). Family, service organizations, faith based groups, and charities traditionally fulfill many of personal needs that some individuals cannot.

 

Q10:  There is no practical alternative in very high density work centers; everyone couldn’t drive to work in Manhattan, for example
A10:   True. Those users, however, should pay for their transportation costs just as automobile commuters should. Employers who choose to locate there and rely on a suburban workforce should pay them enough to get back & forth to work

 

Q11:  Since the government subsidizes automobile users, it should subsidize transit
A11:   Non-users pay a substantially greater percentage of MARTA costs (about 80%) than non-users pay for highway costs (about 5%). A vast majority of government general fund revenue for highways is paid by people who also use highways.

Highways also facilitate the use of transit busses, police, firefighters, ambulances, and disaster relief vehicles. All food is distributed to grocers and restaurants by roads, not buses and streetcars.

 

Q12: Transit creates jobs. Large transit projects, especially rail, do employ a number of companies to:
          - Design the new routes, stations, control systems, and maintenance facilities
          - Acquire the property for rail lines and facilities
          - Handle the large financial transactions
          - Construct the rail lines, stations, and other facilities
          - Operate the trains, street cars, and/or busses - Maintain the lines, conveyances, other equipment, and facilities
A12:  The issue is whether its government’s proper role to take earnings from businesses and taxpayers at large for the benefit of those enumerated above?
And once a transit system’s in place, is it government’s proper role to continue taxing earnings at large to sustain transit operations in perpetuity?

 
     
  Q13:  What transit alternatives do you propose?
A13:  Glad you asked; see slide 33 above
 

 

One guide to the extent of the authority that could ultimately be incorporated into an Atlanta Transit Authority is shown in this GSU College of Law review of current GRTA legislation:

GA State Univ Law Review of GRTA law

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This Paper provides additional information about the TIA, our concerns, and position

TIA position paper

TIA position, page 2

TIA position, page 3

TIA position, page 4

TIA position, page 5

TIA position, page 6

 

 

 

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The project selection process is shown in this chart.  Notice how the GA Director of PlanningWhat specific projects are beingshapes the list during each step before it is presented to the Regional Transportation Roundtable's local reprsentatives for finaThe ARC staff has suggested these Fayette County projects be included in the final Constrained List:

Executive Board memebrs met with ARC & jurisdiction staffs to trim the submitted lists to one that was financially constrained.
This page shows the Fayette County projects they recommended, and shall be under consideration until Monday, when the
Executive Board holds its final meeting (and is expected to approve a Recommended Constrained List).

The ten Project ID designations that include -FA- are Fayette County projects

Fayette County projects

Project selection process

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     These are the transportation projects from Fayette County's March 30th submission that GA Director of Planning Todd Long approved for further consideration.  Projects 1 - 20 were Recommended, projects 21 - 23 were Considered Questionable, and the remaining projects were Not Recommended.

Project list for Fayette County

Project list for Fayette County, page 2

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     Now, the Regional Transportation Roundtable's 5-member Executive Committee will pare the 10-county list down by August 15, 2011 to one that is financially constrained (i.e., the projects' costs do not exceed the amount of 10-year tax revenue forecasted by the State Economist). 

    In another plan to help alleviate congestion, ARC diagrams depict an outer loop around Atlanta (heavy green line), which runs into the center of downtown Fayetteville.  Routing through the pink area has not been finalized, but is expected to overlay either GA92 or Sandy Creek Road to complete its course through Fayette County.  Examination of other counties' project lists will have to be examined to see if the green route survived the first round cuts.  Stay tuned!

Map of outer perimeter

 

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Additional Resources:

     Review GDOT HB277 Briefing

  GDOT briefing

     Press release from the Governor's Office announcing enactment of the Act.

     Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) information on the Act

     Read/review HB 277 here (downloadable PDF)

     Commuter Rail Study (prepared for ARC in 2007)

 

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