Is C-Tran dying a slow death?

Should C-Tran be saved?

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Financial miscalculations in the Clayton County budget could force C-Tran out of business come March 2010. According to MARTA CEO Beverly Scott, the budget presented was $1.3 million short at the onset despite a 50-cent fare increase.

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?

69 comments Add your comment


October 18th, 2009
5:23 am

awwww man now i cant ride the bus from my projects in atlanta to go commit home invasions in clayton county anymore! grrr!!!!!…yo i got a 42″ flat screen, $200, no power cable, it fit discreetly on the packed ctran bus full of section 8 renting migrants on the way to the airport to pickpocket tourists!

Big Gubment

October 18th, 2009
11:43 am

“It is a service that the underprivledged need and a must have in order for them to survive. Some cannot afford to have the nice cars and homes like the rest of you whining homeowners (Ie. Peggy Sue Davis Et al.). Granted if they could, they probally would and wouldn’t have to face this issue. If the shoe was on the other foot, ya probally wouldn’t say the things you did. Stop thinking of self and try and do something positive or to help the system and not fight for it’s demise.”

. .

Welcome to the socialist future, where you pay for not other peoples food, their cable, the roof over their head but their ride to work as well.


October 18th, 2009
6:51 pm

CTran isn’t the problem.Safe,adequate and efficient public transportation is a concern for Clayton County AND the state of Georgia. If Georgia thinks tax revenue is down now even a temporary halt to the operation of CTran will more fully illustrate how much money people who use CTran spend or rather wont be spending. “Ask the hard questions”to the visionless,spineless,corrupt self serving politicians that created this situation and get them to fix it. Maybe the AJC will do a follow up on this major issue prior to March 31 2010.


October 19th, 2009
9:10 am

I am now tired of all the complaining. C-Tran is leaving because most of the tax payers in the county don’t want to fund it. I am a single mother, college graduated and home owner in Clayton as well as a high school graduate from a Clayton County school. All I can say to the bus riders quite complaining and become creative. I went to school full-time, worked full-time all the while raising my child. Don’t allow C-Tran to determine your future. Instead of protesting and beating a dead horse conduct sign-up for car pulls for those who don’t have transportation. Get to know your neighbor who has a car and pay them to get a ride. Dang C-Tran has only been in the county for 5 years and yall act like it is the end of the world. I would vote for bus service to continue for the elderly and the handicap.

fox news is the best

October 19th, 2009
1:24 pm

The only thing clayton county has going for it self is lake spivey C-Tran needs to go. This was a nice county 15 years ago when it was 80% white now look at it.


October 20th, 2009
11:11 am

The county commissioners are pathetic. They simply have not done their jobs. They had 5 years to come up with a plan for local funding to continue the service when the start-up 100 million dollars ran out. After 5 years, the commissioner’s have come up with nothing. That is a disservice to all citizens of Clayton County. Too his credit, Eldrin Bell is throwing out a few ideas now. But its too late. To hear the commissioners lame excuses makes me sick. I don’t see how any voter would ever consider voting to re-elect any these sorry souls. They have simply failed the good citizens of Clayton county by waisting 5 years and ignoring a critical need for continuous public transportation..


October 24th, 2009
3:41 pm

answer – probably


October 25th, 2009
10:05 pm

I must say after reading some of these blogs, I must admit we will never have a real quality of life in the SOUTH. Most of the mind set for people here is I have a car the hell with those who don’t. I have driven transit buses for well over 10 years with Marta. Take a moment to meet someone from other places where transit is made so convenient for people to get around. There are options there there are none here. So before you holla about crime, or about your tax dollars; where is the crime coming from? who committing the crimes? And why are they committing crimes? Your tax dollars-where is really being spent on? New roads,sidewalks, is it being spent on improving a better quality of life in Clayton county or anywhere else in Ga. With all that has happen here in Clayton with the schools and everything else. So just because you have a car let’s think about those who don’t. So if you want Clayton County to be the way it use to be then i encourage you to help make it better. It starts with us the taxpayers not the Commissioners we have the power to improve our neighborhoods instead of blamming everyone else.


November 2nd, 2009
3:21 pm

I swear, anyone who sneers at another person for the lowliness of their job, class, religion, race, and where they live, needs to have their garbage and sewage service cut off for five years. After being forced to live in their own filth for a while, they will learn to be grateful for the people who take on jobs that they consider themselves too good for, take 2 or 3 bus routes for, or cleanup after you snotty nose kids have left a mess in a place of business.


November 11th, 2009
10:27 pm

I think they should keep C-tran… Like they say, too many people depend on the C-TRAN to get to school, work and places like the mall and stuff. If C-tran was not hear, then more crimes would happen in clayton county. People that don’t have cars to get back and forth to school or work, then how are they going to get there. I like going to the mall with my friends but sometimes i don’t have a ride up there, so i have to ride the bus…If they take C-tran away then most places like the mall will lose money. The bus that i ride is the (501) and that bus be full… When you get on that bus, you hardly have a place to sit down. Then, when you want to go see one of your friends that you have not seen in a long time and you don’t have a way over there… Then you can ride the bus to the airport and get on the train. If you take away C-tran then most people will lose there jobs and the people that go to school may have to find a school that is closer to where they live… If you depended on the bus to take you to work or school or anywhere else, what would you do??? Would you fight to keep the bus here or just let them take it away?? I believe that the reason why people think that they should take c-tran away is because they don’t understand what other people are going thru… So if the shoe was on the other foot, what would you do??? THINK ABOUT THAT!!!

Donald Wilson

November 12th, 2009
5:33 pm

I am 40 year home owner in Jonesboro and have seen it through times that others will not say . I was here when Jonesboro was majority white and now that it is majority black. The feeling that a transit system brings crime an unwanted type of people (black) to the community is proof of your ignorance… First an foremost a criminal mindset is want brings crime to a community. Criminals who are set on robbery and selling drugs have transportation, after all it would be mighty stupid to steal hoping that you did not miss the bus while the police is in pursuit or you selling meth ,weed, coke or anything the victims are willing to buy but can not save enough to buy transportation to get you to a-b …. no! the people who rides a transit system it s for convience from traffic, disabled,college students , elderly ; and people in poverty bcause for them they can only pay the bills nothing else so personal transportation is not an option but theses people are not criminals… they all ride for a reason but logically crime is not one…… Now I am from small country town originally in Texas where you have more Cattle than people and everyone had to have transportation to get around that small quiet town so when I moved here once I served my time in the Marine Corp I never thought of not having a vehicle ….. but I do understand that there are people who may require and some who will benefit from a Public Trasit System….. After all a Criminal is a mindset, same as some of your Racist Viewpoints… Now if you had came with the county losing money yearly issue that is a logical stand but even in that I have to ask we have so much money for un worthy things where is the Love the compassion for your community . I see we have come so far but we still have so far to go p.s I am a Black Man married to a Black Woman home paid for , car paid for children in college , great credit score , and I was hired by a White Man who choose to see my skill set , my work ethic ,versus the preconcieved thoughts of what a Black person is about .. Thank God for that type of White People because there are still few like you with your MINDSET


November 13th, 2009
9:22 pm

Donald; You sound like a man who knows which side his bread is best buttered on.

Let's State the Obvious.

December 11th, 2009
8:55 pm

It’s a shame that smart people are overshadowed by ignorant people. I’ve read all of the posted remarks regarding C-Tran, poor people, elderly, handicapped, commissioners, schools, crime, drugs and the like. Let’s cut to the chase. America is still divided. There are still two class of people, white and “others”. Now for a bit of truth to some of those “Mr. Charlie” white folks and some of those “House Worker” blacks, in this country the police are trained to view all of us as the following – criminals as well as to look at all of us as guilty first. This is a stated fact from the training academy as well as the force. Speaking of the force, did you know the reason the internal affairs was created? That’s right — criminals also became police officers. Finally, did you know that real class in this country and the world are the wealthy? Everyone else is just cattle, a means to bring in the riches so that it may be added to the wealth that will be willed away to the descendants of the fortune 5 and fortune 10 companies. Yes, even you programmed right wing super-voters and programmed left wing super-voters, you are puppets of a greater system, just like the poor. Yes, you were robbed first by your white elected officials and then you complained when the “other” elected officials robbed you. I pay taxes, my taxes weren’t suppose to go to the poor, blah, blah, blah. Read up on how the middle and low income people pay the most in taxes and the rich and wealthy pay the lease. Don’t forget, American jobs have been outsourced to other countries since the late 70’s and early 80’s. Don’t forget that white women couldn’t vote, only white men. This country fell apart a long time ago so blame your neighbor and yourself because you are just as much a decent from a slave as much as the person you look at as lowly. Remember endenchered servants?Remember the Boston Tea Party? Think about it, are you debt free? 100 percent debt free? Can you buy anything you want right out without the use of credit? Please remember the system you so call believe in only sees you as a sources of income that’s why your taxes keep going up. Why don’t you complain about the lack of proper schooling country wide instead of county wide. If you look around the world, America is not the cutting edge for technology, medicine and education. All of you go study and research everything you see and hear. Do it for yourself. Don’t do it for me or because someone is reciting a script to you. Go to the library. If we still have one. That’s fading away too. This country is the titanic. Not C-Tran. Not the poor. Not the racist. (They’re just ignorant and are happy to be so. Just like thieves who are happy stealing and killing. Both of those groups are killing every city and county.) May all of bloggers and posters have a great morning/afternoon/night.

Let's State the Obvious.

December 11th, 2009
9:00 pm

Oh yeah, to Double Action and the rest who think and speak as such, you folks are a danger to yourselves. Your mind is locked in an off position. Hopefully, a key is in your future to open your min and free you from thinking the way you do. When your children or grandchildren bring home a Mexican, African, Indian, Pakistani or some other descendant of “color” hopefully you won’t have a heart attack or better yet, a stroke.


January 3rd, 2010
1:13 pm

First of all, I agree with all of the bus riders. Th c-tran is essential in Clayton county. There are lot of students in high school that use the us to get to school and what will they do. Its plenty of peoplethat use the c-tran to get to and from work, the grocery stores, shopping, downtown, mall, everywhere around Atlanta. Many families can’t afford a car or other means of transportaton. How is the atmosphere here in Clayton County any different from McDonough or Lovejoy where there isn’t a bus route. Are the ones who commit crime ridding on the bus cuz if so the police must not be doin they jobs. The busesa neve come on time so there is a wait so if ur criminal is waiting at a bus stop then maybe yall need to be lookin at the city.

Secondly, crime is everywhere. Crime will never stop. When Aerica was founded there was crime then so now 2010+ year later guess what there is still crime and goin to be crime. Maybe instad of th police stoppin people for stupid stuff or just becaus they feel like it (courtesy stops) then maybe they could get criminals off the streets.

Lastly, if any of you ever got on the bus at the airport then maybe you would see how cowded the buses really are. There are multiple stops. Its one on every street and sometimes two. So u can’t possibly thik that beween all them stops aint nobody suppose to get off. Think people. By the end of the bus line its suppose to be empty and by the t it hit jonesboro it is empty. On the other hand the 501 to the dfcs and health department is alway crowded in the morning times. Don’t try to criticize the buses until you actually get on them ad ride them. There is no need for racism though cuz the main people who ride buses are tax payers and workig class people. I am a mother of 4, 24. My other works from 3am until 5pm. So if my kids have a doctors apt. guess what I have to ride the bus. My daughter has sickle cell and I have to go all he way downtown to Hugh Spaulding to take her to the doctor…… So which one of yall goin to volunteer to take me and my kids down there or pay for me a cab?? There is alot of teenage pregnancy in Clayton County how will those kids get there children to the doctors or get themselves to the doctor. You think this city bad now take those buses away and see how bad it will really get cuz then that leave alot of people to walk around neighborhoods and crime rate will really be high. The city would really fall apart. Where would that leave the elderly and disabled at?? Think about that.

Concerned Citizen

January 5th, 2010
5:00 pm

I’m a little late in making this commentary, but nonetheless interested in the discussion. I have been a resident of Clayton County for approximately 14 years on and off, and originally fron Brooklyn, N.Y. Beleive me, crime does not visit a community because it has public transportation. Crime exists everywhere, including all the posh areas in Buckhead, Norcross, and Sandy Springs. When the criminal element visits our community’s they usually drive in and drive out!!! They don’t wait for a bus! I moved to Clayton county because it is reasonably priced for home ownership and also because, at times I may have to use public transportation. I happen to be one of those patrons that went to the forums to discuss the future of C Tran and suffice it to say, the patrons of C Tran were treated with utter disrespect. White, black, it didn’t matter. With the state of our economy and for that matter the state of our environment it would seem to me that public transportation is a viable option for all citizen’s if it could be handled cleanly. Statistics supported by MARTA indicate that the ridership is there. God knows I’ve taken the bus during times when my car was not working and the buses were full of people!!! Many who have posted their comments on here have probably not taken C Tran. Let that not be a testimony to their ignorance and intolerance. Not everyone has the means to obtain a car. Those who do, may be those who are most indebted to this society and feel the need to “keep up with the Joneses.” Let’s get off of our high horses and recognize that crime which many feel was ushered into Clayton county by public transportation, can happen anywhere. Just listen to the evening news.


January 8th, 2010
11:21 pm

Clayon County should use MARTA for public transportation.


January 10th, 2010
5:00 am

i am 16… and i get up at 5 am everymorning to go to school on c-tran,, i think if they gone take it away then they need to but everyone without, cars.. because i ride the 504 and it be packed like sardines on there every route… please dnt take it away


March 17th, 2010
10:46 am

First of all, No one has considered the facts of what will happen when C-Tran Closes…

How many people ride the bus to work?

How will business suffer that were shopped by people who rode C-Tran.

How much tax dollars will be lost due to the buses being removed, taxes including payroll, and sells tax.

These are all interesting questions.

When C-Tran is cut, I believe that Clayton county will save in the short term but hurt the county even further by the loss of revenue it will cause.

Some cities don’t even have transit and are ridden with crime, so stop saying transit brings crime that is not a fact.

view transitfacts dot com

for every dollar spent on transit it generates 4 to 9 dollars in economic activity.