C-Tran has been operating in the red for awhile now. As per the AJC, the county spends about $10 million per year to operate C-Tran, but only collects $2.5 million in revenue.
With only five routes running, fare hikes and temporary surcharges are imminent, service will most likely be reduced across the board and there is talk of discontinuing the airport loop (Route 500) bus completely. Many residents depend on C-Tran as their sole means of transportation, as well as elderly riders who utilize para transit services. Sixty-one percent of Clayton’s residents ride the bus to work, and 10 percent take it to school.
But to hear some tell the story, C-Tran (along with the 1996 Olympics) helped send the county on a downward spiral that Clayton is still in the midst of. That theory aside, is it fiscally responsible to continue operating a system that loses money in any economy?
At a recent meeting, riders stated buses are currently filled to capacity and standing room only. The buses I see daily on Tara Boulevard are practically empty. I’ve never seen one even half full during my time here. So I have to ask which route(s) riders are referring to? Nevertheless, I do hope that at the very least, services for the elderly and disabled remain intact.
The C-Tran hearing will be held on Oct. 7 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Clayton County Administrative Building (112 Smith Street, Jonesboro). Will you attend?
Do you ride C-Tran? If so, what bus route do you take? Clayton residents: how would you ask your commissioner to represent you on this issue?