Options for C-Tran riders: GRTA and Xpress

C-Tran riders who prefer to let someone else do the driving should consider the Xpress bus, which currently operates three routes in Clayton: #440 (Tara Blvd. to Atlanta), #441 (Jonesboro to Midtown Atlanta) and #442 (Riverdale to Downtown Atlanta).

Pending FTA approval, three new Xpress routes will be added at: the new Jonesboro Park & Ride Station on Tara Boulevard; the Riverdale Park & Ride Station; and at a new stop to be determined in Morrow. Weekday morning and evening peak service from Riverdale and Jonesboro will be provided at 15-minute intervals, and from Morrow at 30 minute intervals, so the new routes will run more often than Clayton’s existing routes.

Worried what would happen if you had to leave early in an emergency? If you ride a regular Xpress route, the Guaranteed Ride Home program provides up to five FREE rides to your vehicle yearly. I’ve used this service, was taken to my car via cab in less than an hour and it cost me nothing but time to fill out some paperwork afterwards explaining why I needed the service.

Riding Xpress will also qualify you for the Clean Air Campaign’s Commuter Rewards Program, where several $25 gift cards are won monthly just for using clean commuting options regularly.

Yes, Xpress will cost more than C-Tran, and nobody wants to pay more for anything. But the reality is we all are paying more, regardless of how one chooses to commute.

Fares for the new routes are: $3 one-way and $5 round-trip;  20 rides for $45, 40 rides for $85, and 31-day unlimited ride passes are $80. Riders can conveniently buy bus passes online, as well as at MARTA station Breeze machines or the GRTA offices in Peachtree Center. Xpress also provides a free transfer to MARTA and can accommodate up to two wheelchair passengers on its coaches.

Unfortunately this alternative does nothing to assist the needs of paratransit and elderly riders, so hopefully a solution will be worked out on their behalf soon.

Will you give the Xpress bus a try?

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This deal is a temporary fix to keep bus service running for those who need it. “The federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funds that we will be using in part to operate these new routes will expire three years after each route begins service,” says GRTA’s Director of Communications William Mecke. “We will have to find a different source of operating funding when those funds expire.”  At the last meeting, our BOC approved Resolution 2010-61 requesting that legislators introduce legislation at this year’s Georgia General Assembly to find ways to fully fund C-Tran in the future.

73 comments Add your comment

City of Morrow Resident

February 27th, 2010
9:02 pm

We did not know there was an election in Morrow. When is it and what is it for?

MorrowDude

February 28th, 2010
2:37 pm

The March 16 Morrow special election is to fill the unexpired term of former City Councilman Charles Sorrow. Sorrow resigned from office in January due to health concerns. His term is set to expire in November, 2011. Morrow Downtown Development Authority Executive Director John Lampl, former city Property Manager Jeanell Bridges, and retiree James “Jim” Duckworth qualified for the special election

City of Morrow Resident

February 28th, 2010
11:01 pm

Thank you Morrow Dude. That is more information than we citizens have. The question becomes,why would John Lampl quit a six figure job to run for City Council Seat? Isn’t he the newly appointed Economic Development Director? Seems strange. Will there be any forums or debates? Is it true that its been over 30 years since a woman served on the board? Has there ever been a minority on that council? Inquiring minds want to know.

MorrowDude

March 1st, 2010
2:58 pm

I’m not sure about the history of council members. I was also wondering how a current Morrow city employee could run for council.

Borodawg

March 5th, 2010
12:14 pm

Jimmy(Conservative):”…I know it may sound cruel; but there is no excuse to keep something that can not pay for itself….”

Waterboy: “… The answer here is less government control, not more…”

The “public” roads are subsidized. Roads do not pay for themselves. Yall need to stay off the roads. I reckon you can just fly wherever you wanta go.

Clayton resident: “…Losing Ctran is messed up…but if it will help make this county better finanacially and in the type of people that live here…”

How does mass transit (rail, light rail, buses) affect the type person living here? Some cities such as Chicago, Seattle, Portland have good mass transit systems. Therefore, I guess they have lower quality citizens.

Opinion: I have to agree that C-tran didn’t appear to be run professionally; too many empty seats on some routes. Yet they said the buses were full. At mid-day I saw lots of empty buses. Perhaps the only time they had good rider-ship was during rush hour.

Transportation problems (traffic gridlock, polution) should be dealt with on a regional basis. Our legislators have hog-tied MARTA, offering no state support; therefore keeping it limited in service and funding. The GRTA, ATL Regional Commission, et al should be empowered to make transportation decisions for the entire Metro region. And the State should be just as supportive of mass transit as it is of roads. Yes, subsidies are a quandary; MARTA, C-tran, X-press probably don’t charge enough. $5 round-trip is downright cheap, compared to driving (gas, wear and tear, time in gridlock). Of course, this all goes hand-in-hand with counties allowing unbridled development. It’s slowed right now but remember: when the county approves (just as an example) a 200 house subdivision, that’s probably at least 200 more cars on the road…every day.

One more thing; to say bus riders don’t pay taxes is ignorant. Everybody pays sales taxes. Renters pay property taxes in the form of rent money to landlords. NOTE: Actually, rental houses pay higher property taxes because they don’t get the homestead exemption.

We need transportation solutions. That will take forward-thinking politicians and citizens.

Derek

March 9th, 2010
11:30 am

Even if you take C-Trans figures, counting all buses and all routes. They averaged 2 riders per bus, per route, per day. A money pit, sorry, it has to go. Clayton county may be laughed at but Fayette, Cowetta, Cherokee etc, successful counties , don’t either and have lower crime and higher house values!

Diane

March 10th, 2010
5:36 pm

I don’t know about all of you but there are young people going to school who cannot afford to buy a car or move! $3.00 round trip for young people would be a hardship. Did anyone think about them?

Me Should

March 10th, 2010
7:30 pm

Derek your Math is off. There were 2,000,000 rides last year on Five Routes. If you were to do basic math and divide that by 365 since Ctran runs 7 days a week that would come to about 5478 trips a day. Since Most people make return trips home divide that into 2. You come up with 2739 people riding the bus. That 2739 kept off the road every day just in Clayton county.

Alan

March 11th, 2010
3:41 pm

Even if you take C-Trans figures, counting all buses and all routes. They averaged 2 riders per bus, per route, per day.

Methinks someone has pulled numbers from an unmentionable location.

Some routes had few riders at certain times in the day, but were packed full on other times in the day. The fact that C-Tran is being removed is actually a regression, and should be viewed as a dark day in the history of the county.

The fact is, many people are now going to have to find a new way to get to and from work. Some people, myself included, will have to go back to driving. I really can’t afford a car, insurance, and the continual rise in the cost of fuel, but it’s a reality I’ll need to come to terms with. Others? If they can’t find a way, they’ll just lose their jobs.

People here cite the fact that the county isn’t in good financial shape. Tell me, how did all those stop light cameras work out? They caused more problems than they were worth, which cost the county money. What was the point of the raised intersections along Jonesboro Rd, for example? Why are there so many costly traffic signals in places where none are needed to begin with? It’s ludicrous to pin the blame on the bus system when there are several other problems out there draining the county.

Hate on the bus system if you want, but don’t make up things to sell your opinion.

jsmith

March 13th, 2010
12:49 pm

clayton county used to be a decent place to live 15 years ago , everyone knows why this county went downhill ,but no one can say why because they will be labeled racist!!! everyone can skirt round and round about different things that are wrong with clayton county , but we all know what the truth is. and if you think this county will ever comeback your crazy.

Matt

March 13th, 2010
4:44 pm

You can talk about race I think the author is talking about making gratuitous racial comments.

Clayton County is notable in that it went through such a demographic shift in a short order of time. There are plenty of reasons for this, namely it is a cheap place to buy a house. Also, Atlanta shut down it’s housing projects and a fair number of those residents moved to Clayton.

What I understand is that once the county went majority black, the voters started electing other black people to represent them. The problem is that most of these “leaders” were totally unqualified. Jewell Scott and Victor Hill are jokes. Victor Hill is now slingin’ Lexus’ at some metro area dealership.

If it had better leadership, Clayton would not be in this shape, majority black or not. It just goes to show you that you shouldn’t vote along racial lines. Outside of repercussions from the mortgage crises, I really have little sympathy for Clayton residents, you got what you voted for and can now deal with it.

If you have to rely on public transportation you really should be living in Fulton or DeKalb anyway, preferably close to a rail station so you don’t have to worry about MARTA cutting your bus route.

Matt

March 13th, 2010
4:45 pm

Matt

March 13th, 2010
4:52 pm

Well, I typed out a longer comment but it disappeared.

My understanding about Clayton County is that when it went majority black, the residents voted for unqualified leaders (sheriff, DA, school board) because they were black. This certainly illustrated the folly of voting along racial lines.

The fact is that Clayton did not go to pot because it went majority black, it was mostly due to the consequence of voting for clowns like Jewell Scott and Victor Hill. If it had better leadership, Clayton would be in much better shape right now.

With exception to repercussions of the mortgage crises, I really have no sympathy for Clayton residents. Elections have consequences and now you must clean up after yourselves. Move to DeKalb or Fulton if you need public transportation.

Matt

March 13th, 2010
4:53 pm

Well, I typed out a longer comment but it disappeared, let me try this:

My understanding about Clayton County is that when it went majority purple, the residents voted for unqualified leaders (sheriff, DA, school board) because they were purple. This certainly illustrated the folly of voting along racial lines.

The fact is that Clayton did not go to pot because it went majority purple, it was mostly due to the consequence of voting for clowns like Jewell Scott and Victor Hill. If it had better leadership, Clayton would be in much better shape right now.

With exception to repercussions of the mortgage crises, I really have no sympathy for Clayton residents. Elections have consequences and now you must clean up after yourselves. Move to DeKalb or Fulton if you need public transportation.

Matt

March 13th, 2010
4:57 pm

Well, I typed out a longer comment but it disappeared, let me try this:
My understanding about Clayton County is that when it went majority purple, the residents voted for unqualified leaders (sheriff, DA, school board) because they were purple. This certainly illustrated the folly of voting along racial lines.
The fact is that Clayton did not go to pot because it went majority purple, it was mostly due to the consequence of voting for clowns like Jewell Scott and Victor Hill. If it had better leadership, Clayton would be in much better shape right now.
With exception to repercussions of the mortgage crises, I really have no sympathy for Clayton residents. Elections have consequences and now you must clean up after yourselves. Move to DeKalb or Fulton if you need public transportation.

Matt

March 13th, 2010
4:59 pm

Elect qualified leaders and Clayton will do much better. Voting for somebody just because they look like you is a sure-fire way of getting hustled. Blame Victor Hill, Jewell Scott and the school board for the Clayton you see today, not simply because it went majority black. This is a gratuitously racial comment, it is a the truth.

maggie

March 15th, 2010
9:58 am

drive to East Point as I do and catch the train from there.

Robin

March 17th, 2010
12:55 am

I’m fortunate to have a safe vehicle and to be able to afford to use and maintain it. I’m concerned that this is going to drive the working poor, who can’t currently afford a car but have job skills and a chance to improve their financial situations, out of the county completely… and then who is going to move into all that rental housing? The truly desperate and perennially jobless settle somewhere, and it seems like this is just laying down the welcome mat for Clayton County to be that place. Doesn’t exactly seem like an unforeseeable consequence. What do the commissioners think will happen – that the upper middle class will move back in droves once the buses are gone? Wishful thinking, not reality.

BnB

March 17th, 2010
12:03 pm

tick-tock tick-tock 14 days and counting bye-bye C-tran

HCCynic

March 17th, 2010
3:19 pm

William T. Sherman had an interesting approach to urban blight 145 years ago. Perhaps we could ressurrect his method, torch the entire county, and let the Good Lord above start over…

From where I sit in the neighboring county, to which I evacuated many years ago, I have to say it cannot hurt your existing property values…it might actually improve them.

S

March 17th, 2010
7:32 pm

Before I read this blog, I was really appalled at C-Tran being cut — I thought about the fate of those that depend on C-Tran to get to work. But now, I’m wondering what C-Tran-dependent residents of Clayton did before C-Tran came along. Somehow, they managed, eh? I very much agree with an above poster who suggested that those depending on public transport move to Fulton or Dekalb, preferably close to a rail line. Sage advice, I’d say. No, maybe you won’t have the optimal choice in terms of housing, but sometimes in life you have to make compromises. If I were one of the working poor, I’d do my best to live near a train station or well-traveled bus line, so that getting to my job would be a priority. (I’d also take an active interest in my kids’ education, have a good man as husband and father to my kids right there in the house, and he’d be the birth father of all my kids… But I guess that’s a topic for a different post.)

KimWhit

March 25th, 2010
8:30 pm

So goes C-Tran, so goes Roberta’s base………..

Monique

March 29th, 2010
9:10 pm

I know the perfect spot for a new Xpress line. On the corner of Southlake Pkwy. & Mt. Zion Rd. right across the street from the Shell Gas Station and the Lay-Z-Boy. That lot has been empty for years.