Transit issue bigger than Clayton

This issue is not going away — not for a long time.

Business execs have consistently ranked traffic congestion and transit as one of the metro area’s key problems. But little gets done.

Now, bus service in Clayton County is scheduled for shutdown March 31, leaving thousands of riders scrambling for alternatives to get to their jobs.

Meanwhile, MARTA is in a deep financial hole and talking about major service cuts.

On the state level, the legislature is considering a regional tax proposal to fund transportation projects, but similar measures have failed in previous years.

Will anything ever get done?

Shouldn’t a major county, despite budget constraints, provide some bus service for its residents? Is that too much to ask?

And shouldn’t state politicians, after more than a decade of talking about the growing transportation mess, have passed some funding mechanism by now?

What do you say?

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53 comments Add your comment

tony t

March 17th, 2010
8:26 am

clayton county is a disgrace and so is the whole state of ga for not having some kind of funding for public transportation in major metro areas.the politicians need to quit living in the past , catch up to the present and look forward to the future. it seems like they are anti city in the capitol building. savannah has transit, columbus has transit ,macon has transit, and even albany has transit and you mean to tell me clayton county can’t run transit . ithink its time to look to casinos, horse racing and other entertainment like trying to make atlanta the entertainment capitol of the south by way of broadway type plays more publicized festivals with international headliners and maybe even develop some first clss vacation resorts .being that there is no beach in most of ga we have to be very creative.most of all we need bright, fresh , new progressive people running this great state that i love ,but sometimes makes me ashame with their old fashion hypocritical politics.

tony t

March 17th, 2010
8:33 am

any ideas that can bring any kind of revenue for the state must be at least look at no matter how you personally feel about, for instance if you don’t like gambling don’t go to a casino, but don’t think everyone feels the same as you.

tony t

March 17th, 2010
8:35 am

we must save our state and we must definetly save the atlanta metro for if it fells the whole state fells

Spanky Spankmeyer

March 17th, 2010
8:39 am

Marta, C-Tran, GCCT are all operated by incompentent fools. I for one am GLAD to see C-Tran biting the dust and it cant happen soon enough. These publicly operated money pits should be operated the same as the private industry. That being if ya cant turn a profit then down the toilet ya go.

And the sooner the better. Never do I use these mobile outhouses that are chock full of miscreants and malcontents who vandalize the property that I the taxpayer have provided. Im sure most of these persons wouldnt destroy their own property even though no doubt most live like pigs. Yes pigs rolling and sleeping in their own feces.

Clean up these entities, make them profitable or shut them down. THE SOONER THE BETTER.

Spanky Spankmeyer

March 17th, 2010
8:41 am

“fells the whole state fells”

Its fails.

Spanky Spankmeyer

March 17th, 2010
8:41 am

Ga could survive without the Metro Atlanta Hellhole. The converse isnt likely.

Spanky Spankmeyer

March 17th, 2010
8:43 am

You wanna keep these debacles operating? Then combine or cut routes. Slash operating times. Slash employee pay between 7% to 17%. Layoff 5% of the employees. And Im sure there are many numerous other ways…

Steve

March 17th, 2010
9:03 am

Spanky, no public transportation system operates at a profit, even the road you drive your own car on, so I hope you stay in your driveway all day.

Ron

March 17th, 2010
9:08 am

We have this thing called ARC (The Atlanta Regional Commission) whose function is planning, coordinating and so forth. They’re a bunch of heavies from each of Atlanta metro’s 10 counties and regions. And they like to have their fingers in “BIG” stuff, like development.

ARC is an example of why we are now suffering from these problems of urban expansion and growth. For years they’ve focused on development and growth and ignored infrastructure (they’ll deny this) but the proof is clear to see that all across the Atlanta Metropolitan Region communities are victims of unbridled growth and lack of urban/suburban planning. Now that development has stopped in its tracks ARC, local county governments and the state need to focus on infrastructure and quality of life issues across the region.

tony t

March 17th, 2010
9:25 am

spanky needs to move to south ga . oh yeah i spelled fail wrong but you knew what i meant. are you some throwback from the 50s, a klan member perhaps.

TnGelding

March 17th, 2010
9:27 am

I say yes to both questions. In the grand scheme of things, it’s chicken feed. It’s way past time for the state government to ante up. It would benefit the entire state. Which reminds me, why not legalize casino gambling? Nah, we need to subsidize MS, NJ and NV.

songbird

March 17th, 2010
9:32 am

spanky – you got it backwards. the state of georgia is nothing without the metro Atlanta area. the metro area is the financial engine that keeps this pathetic state afloat. your comments are idiotic.

Tired of hypocrisy

March 17th, 2010
10:15 am

Wake UP! The legislators do not care about people that need public transportation. Neither does the Clayton County Commissioners…why? Because they are all about self. We need to start electing people to office that are in touch with the people. I drive, but I feel bad for those who need or want to ride CTran or any public transportation, and don’t have the option to do so. Many working people depend on public transportation, this is just wrong.

Tired of hypocrisy

March 17th, 2010
10:23 am

It’s amazing how we have money for Perdue’s retirement fishing community, but when MARTA wanted to draw from their own funds they weren’t allowed to. Now we have this mess. Maybe someone will start a shuttle service that picks up from main areas like Kroger or Walmart parking lots and take people directly to the Airport MARTA Station or key areas in the county. Maybe people will start carpools within their own neighborhoods. I know this is wishful thinking, but I would love to see the community come together and fix this solution without the politicians. Show them that we don’t need them and come election time, they can be replaced.

It's Obvious

March 17th, 2010
10:26 am

It’s very clear to me what they’re attempting to do. By cutting the bus service in Clayton County, they are trying to get rid of the lower income families who live there because they know that they can not get around without public transportation. This cut will force those families to move to other counties where bus service is available. It’s so very sad…

Just saying

March 17th, 2010
10:37 am

This is for the comment It’s Obvious made: You got it, go rob, steal and drive down property values in another county.

John Babitskas

March 17th, 2010
10:47 am

Spanky doest not understand the difference between Infrastructure and Commerce. You need Infrastructure in order to get Commerce. Infratructure COSTS money. You get the money back when Commerce results. If the lady who mops the floor at you local hospital can’t get there, the floor does not get mopped. Got the picutre! John in Atlanta.

big papi

March 17th, 2010
10:56 am

Shirley Franklin and Rene Lewis Glover flushed the toliet in Atlanta and discharched it into Clayton Co. Now the county, never rich in the first place is STUCK with a disproportionate share of low income residents and all of the problems that accompany them, i.e. CRIME and under performing schools ect. The commissioners were oh so short-sighted. They grabbed hold of the federal tit to start up the bus service and now the tit has run dry so….GOODBYE C-TRAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cliff

March 17th, 2010
10:58 am

I’m puzzled by the whole debate. In Chamblee, private companies sprung up and compete with Marta for patrons. They get no public funding, and apparently do quite well.

Clayton county would be wise to court private operations to take over in the vacuum. Of course, they would only run if the routes are profitable and on time schedules that make financial sense, but that would force route consolidation to something reasonable automatically.

smitty

March 17th, 2010
11:07 am

they should pay for what they use…it’s simple

Midtown Atlanta

March 17th, 2010
11:11 am

Well Spanky, what we could do is put a wall around metro Atlanta like Berlin, and keep our tax money here for our residents and everytime you want to come to Atlanta for one of your hillbilly events (some preacher or tractor pull), we could charge you for entering the city. The only good thing about Georgia IS Atlanta.

bigdogears

March 17th, 2010
11:25 am

I agree with Cliff. Private operators will fill the void in transportation services if they are profitable. The problem is that riders want to pay far less than the service costs to operate. No bus service for Clayton County. Take a cab or buy a car – take responsibility for your own transportation needs!

Scott

March 17th, 2010
11:27 am

Cliff I believe those smaller companies do receive some sort of subsidies, and their routes are very limited and specialized. They appeal to the Spanish speaking population. There is no way any one of them could cover the vast amount of real estate that MARTA does. Clayton County is a case study in the antithesis of smart growth. It has to be the most dysfunctional county on earth from the school board up. It is a shame about C-tran, but they should have joined Dekalb, Fulton, and Atlanta and paid the 1 cent sales tax and they wouldn’t be in this mess

Spanky Spankmeyer

March 17th, 2010
11:46 am

LOL…klan member, hillbillys etc. All you bigots.

Bye Bye C-Tran…..LMAO at the losers!

RSC

March 17th, 2010
11:47 am

“Its fails.”

Spanky, it is “It’s”.

Spanky Spankmeyer

March 17th, 2010
11:48 am

Midtown Atlanta

March 17th, 2010
11:11 am

Sounds good, this wall. In all fairness when you thugs, rappers want to venture outside the wall for say Freaknik or rap concerts or some other event will you kill another off, be sure your wallets are open.

Spanky Spankmeyer

March 17th, 2010
11:50 am

“I juz be sayinz we needx sum trampspotashuns…YO!”

Spanky Spankmeyer

March 17th, 2010
11:50 am

Wut eva happin 2 soulja gurl on mahta? she so finz

Spanky Spankmeyer

March 17th, 2010
11:51 am

When is the next rap – out posse’ gunna kill some thugs party – concert?

Spanky Spankmeyer

March 17th, 2010
11:53 am

DIE CTRAN…DIIIIIIE!!!

LMAO!

mcgruff04

March 17th, 2010
12:02 pm

Spanky, you and several others are so misinformed. You have a bad misperception of those that ride public transportation. You all think that the only people that ride public transit are those that can’t afford a car or those that will bring crime to your suburban area. There are all sorts of riders. I am a well-educated, high income earner and I choose to ride Marta to keep miles off of my personal vehicle. In addition to that, it’s more cost effective for me.

Mass transit is one of the biggest negatives about the Atlanta metro area. Routes are limited, and the service is always underfunded. I think we need a regional transit system instead a separate one in Cobb, Gwinnet, and Clayton County. If everyone could get away from thinking negatively about public transit, maybe service could be expanded to more outlying counties. People here always complain about traffic. But when you vote to not allow transit to be expanded to your county, you are contributing to the traffic.

Julie

March 17th, 2010
12:06 pm

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and MARTA worked closely with Clayton County to develop alternative to avoid closure of C-Tran, however none of the alternatives were pursued by the county. ARC strongly supports an extensive and successful transit system throughout the Atlanta region and is working very hard to help achieve passage of legislation to allow a regional referendum for a one-cent sales tax to help fund needed transportation infrastructure. Please visit http://www.atlantaregional.com for more information about your regional planning agency.

Spanky Spankmeyer

March 17th, 2010
12:06 pm

mcgruff04

March 17th, 2010
12:02 pm

Very logical post and I actually agree!

Douglas

March 17th, 2010
12:47 pm

As a Clayton County resident, I for one, am glad to see C-Tran go…When it was first rammed down our throats, It was promised that it would bring an “era of economic development & growth” to the county. The only development and growth we got was blight, unemployment, accredition problems, crime and section-8 housing…This is growth I can do without.

Goodbye C-Tran and good riddance!!!!

Fowler White

March 17th, 2010
1:07 pm

I just want to know why everyone is mad about Clayton cutting C-Tran??? If they can’t afford it, they can’t afford it…! That sounds smart to me…If they had that prudent mentality all along, I don’t think the county would be so downtrodden. Clayton County really needs to detemine that they are going to fix their image more than they need to keep a money pit like C-Tran. As far as a bus service goes, we don’t have it here in Fayette, but the people here do just fine without it..

And from what I’ve seen and experienced (I lived in Riverdale two years), I wouldn’t trade my current location in Fayetteville for any in Clayton County. I dare say that most people, if they were honest with themselves, would move out of Clayton County for Henry or Fayette if they had the opportunity…..Lower crime, better schools, better neighbors, better government, and a better way of life.

So why again are people complaining about the loss of C-Tran? They should be complaining about the fact that Clayton County does not measure up to the two counties that adjoin it….And they should be complaining about the fact that their leadership isn’t doing anything about it….That’s really something to complain about!

Tom B.

March 17th, 2010
1:31 pm

Is it the function of government to provide public transportation? If so, then vote into office those who are willing to implement it. Let them decide how it is to be funded … and by whom.

BUCKMASTER

March 17th, 2010
6:25 pm

@ BIg PAPI : You are correct starting with the 1996 Olympics. Atlanta engaged in a purported revitalization of blighted areas. AKA tearing down public housing. And giving the land to developers to supposed build mixed income communitys…. Yeah Right the occupants of the torn down projects were given rent vouchers, and a bus ticket out of town. Lets see PERRY HOMES, EAST LAKE MEADOWS, HOLLYWOOD COURTS, BANKHEAD COURTS,to name a few.. We are taking about a mass exodus carried out completly in secret.. The AJC should do a back story on how the past administrations of this alleged World Class City. Turned their backs on there on people in order to make a quick buck… And yes a lot of the ended up here in Clayton and South Fulton county. Lets shut down MARTA next. Hey Atlanta!!!! Theys be a coming back home to ya BOSS!!!! PEACE..

BUCKMASTER

March 17th, 2010
6:27 pm

P.S. BYE BYE C-TRAN

Clayton down

March 17th, 2010
6:47 pm

Everything in clayton county is dirty, corrupt or broken. The crooked politicians have stripped the county clean of money, ethics and progress—a total disgrace.

Just wait Fayette...

March 17th, 2010
11:14 pm

@Fowler White: Get ready to move to Coweta. I rode through Fayette the other day and saw a kid walking with a pit bull. As a matter of fact, in all the years I have shopped in Fayette, I never saw people just walking (unless it was for recreation/ excercise). I see many Clayton residents moving to Fayette and walking just to be walking. These people look like they are going to want public transportation after awhile. When they get enough people to move to Fayette, they will get it.

BUCKMASTER

March 17th, 2010
11:25 pm

Enter your comments here

BUCKMASTER

March 17th, 2010
11:31 pm

The county commision in Fayette county knows where the citizens stand on public transportation, most of us here have had to fall back from Fulton and Clayton counties in the 80s when Marta And C-TRAN arrived.. With the demise of C-TRAN the Frontlines will be pushed back, Any commisioner voting for public transportation in Fayette County can check their career at the door, next election. And MARTA is soon to pull back too…BLESS

Boogers in your soup

March 18th, 2010
7:44 am

Bye Ctran…AHH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

Spanky Spankmeyer

March 18th, 2010
7:44 am

Enter your comments here

BUCKMASTER

March 18th, 2010
8:48 am

POP POP POP POP POP GOES MY NINE….. Was the song playing as once again somebody gets pop and dropped on MARTA…. MARTA AINT SMARTA…..BLESS

Grant Park Jeff

March 18th, 2010
9:28 am

OK, Henry Unger. Are you satisfied with this intelligent level of discourse the AJC has (once again)so thoughtfully facilitated?

You are a business writer. Please tell me…When will AJC stop devaluing their brand by promoting ignorance, racist ranting and name-calling that serves no purpose at all?? This is pitiful.

Fifth of Five

March 18th, 2010
11:11 am

Area Federal and State transportation agencies have worked overtime to preserve the service in Clayton Co.

The County Commission made the decision to no longer fund transit, and that is solely where the blame rests for this debacle.

ThankGod

March 22nd, 2010
1:48 pm

No. The people SHOULD NOT have to pay for bus service. Is this damn madness ever going to end?

ThankGod

March 22nd, 2010
1:50 pm

BTW, if you want to fund the bus service, then charge the riders $5.00 a head each way. Don’t push it to the community.

al

March 23rd, 2010
8:52 am

I totally agree with Douglas and Buckmaster. We do not want C-Tran. Let’s stop the madness and keep the bus system out of Clayton County, enough is enough.