Power Breakfast: MARTA raises fare to $2.50, metro jobless rate up, Cobb development, Georgia bonds, Fed, hedge funds

In what one MARTA board member called an “agonizing” decision, the transit agency on Wednesday voted to raise one-way fares from $2 to $2.50, AJC reporter Ariel Hart writes.

When the fare hike goes into effect on Oct. 2, a MARTA trip will cost more than a ride on the buses and subways of New York City, the nation’s largest transit system, Hart reports. MARTA serves 135,000 riders on an average weekday.

Just two years ago, at the time of the last fare increase, the basic MARTA fare was only $1.75. The price of a monthly pass, then $52.50, will now rise to $95, Hart reports. That’s an 81 percent increase.

“You’re killing us,” said Brenda Sanders, 52, as she waited for a bus Wednesday morning outside Five Points Station. “Jobs are going down, food is going up in the store and now you’re raising the fares? Who is going to give us a break?” Sanders said she doesn’t drive and has no car, so MARTA is the lifeline to her job as a hotel maid in Sandy Springs, Hart writes.

Some board members said they had little choice, in the face of their own inaction over several years and a lack of operating assistance from the state, Hart reports.

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10 comments Add your comment

Only The Rich Get Richer And Get Big Benefits

June 23rd, 2011
6:53 am

Shame on MARTA. And you Board members – how many of you even know what the inside of a bus or train looks like. Of course it doesn’t bother you to stick it to the people who can least afford it; people busting their butts every day to get to work and to school; you have your big fancy cars to get you where you are going and probably get mileage to attend meetings plus your big salaries. Every one of you need to look at what is reality – people paying higher food costs; utility costs; and now you stick it to them. What a bunch of inconsiderate jerks.

Buzz G

June 23rd, 2011
7:48 am

Everyone wants a free ride. Mass transit is popular because people think that when they ride MARTA, the government reaches into someone else’s pocket to pay for some of their ride. And they are right. The government reaches into the pockets of non-riders to pay for some of the cost of riders. MARTA riders are a bunch of losers who mooch on successful people and then complain that they are not allowed to mooch even more. When the moochers exceed the ability of working people to support them, atlas will shrug.

willydoit?

June 23rd, 2011
8:05 am

MARTA…it’s SMARTA!

Jaywood Hablome

June 23rd, 2011
8:50 am

The people who are driving on those publicly subsidized roads are the real moochers.

Drivers aren’t paying the real cost of the roads, the productivity lost from traffic congestion, or the cost of car-polluted.

Those cost could easily be fairly distributed through an appropriate gas tax. But that is election suicide for GA politicians with entitled, ignorant boobs like Buzz G as constituents.

Chief Wiggum

June 23rd, 2011
8:54 am

Let’s see if I have this right…raising fares by 25%, and if I remember, it will force about 11-13% of the ridership out of the system. Doesn’t sound like a wise decision.

For those that expect transit to pay their own way, how do roads pay their own way? They don’t. I am a conservative, and an engineer, and I know how much roads and transit cost. And while transit is very expensive, roads are no bargain, and do not have any type of “return on investment” unless we’re talking about a toll road, and even then…not really.

cut fares

June 23rd, 2011
9:08 am

they need to cut fares, not raise them. Just raise taxes to pay for whatever it takes. I’m tired of paying higher fares for riding the bus and marta to work. The rich people and big corporations should be paying a lot more in taxes.

Get real...

June 23rd, 2011
10:18 pm

I have sold to and worked with MARTA in the past and know the waste that goes on there. They should look within first and make cuts like any other business would before raising fares. I bet if you sat down and interviewed them, 35% to 40% of their employees at the home office would not be able to justify there jobs. This is not about raising fairs or taxing the rich to keep this inept transit system going. Do not look to raise taxes on everyone to keep this service going for the few that use it. If you use it….start asking MARTA the tough questions…..

More taxes

June 24th, 2011
12:43 pm

the government needs to raise taxes to get a lot more buses than they have now. I’m tired of waiting for a bus for 30 minutes to get to my job. TAxes around here are way too low and the rich people should be paying a lot more.

Chief Wiggum

June 27th, 2011
8:09 am

The person that keep cackling about the rich paying more taxes has no clue. For example, if you are taking about federal income taxes, the top 1% make about 20% of the total income, yet pay about 40% of the total taxes. Simply, the rich are taxed plenty already.

I think “Get Real” has really hit upon it…MARTA is a bloated agency that has always spent too much, wasted too much, and is full of people it does not need.

I do believe that the state of Georgia does need to be providing funding to MARTA, but I think it would be on the condition that a lot of the waste is cut out of the agency. Higher taxes have nothing to do with this…bringing them up is merely class envy.

Cal

June 29th, 2011
8:17 pm

What MARTA’s problem is MARKETING. They are too conservative. For whatever reason they can’t get state and federal funding. They can’t get sponsors. They cannot find an efficient way to reach out to the people and taking risk, in running more service in needed areas.
Making sure each bus route goes from station to station, AND have buses that go from Ind Creek to Doraville, From Doraville to Perimeter, from Perimeter to Cumberland, from Cumberland to HE Holmes, HE holmes to Airport, Airport to Perimeter School or South Dekalb and there to Ind Creek
Maybe run overnight services to allow 3rd shift people and early morn or late night people to get to work. Network more with Gwinnett and CCT. Maybe find a backdoor way to get into Clayton County. Make website more user friend. Make Iphone Apts for Marta to buy your fare.

But Marta doesn’t know what to do.