C-Tran riders vowed to fight the Board of Commissioners’ decision to end bus service, and they aren’t wasting any time. A protest will take place on Oct. 24, led by a Marietta-based activist group called the New Order National Human Rights Organization.
I realize this opinion may not be popular, but I believe those four Commissioners did the right thing by ending C-Tran service. Financially speaking, it needed to happen as the county was hemorrhaging money to fund it. Unlike many other states, Georgia does not subsidize local public transportation.
Chairman Eldrin Bell was the lone holdout to keep C-Tran, and stated publicly he will use all resources at his disposal to keep the system running. This includes asking the state to allow an airport sales tax increase that could bring in $3 million annually. Other options are to ask the legislature and Clayton voters to support another penny tax to fund the system, or unite with MARTA. But according to various news sources and commissioners, it is unlikely that any of these efforts will succeed due largely in part to short timing.
What I also found interesting is that, according to the AJC, one-fifth of the 142 comments received by the county regarding C-Tran came from people who do not reside in Clayton. I have to wonder if their motivations are to support bus riders because they believe in the cause, or to just ensure those riders don’t end up in their own backyard, as worried residents from other counties have inquired if I knew where these folks might go if C-Tran does shut down.
C-Tran riders, drivers and supporters will protest in front of the commission building next Saturday. Will you attend to show your support one way or the other?