Although C-Tran service will end Wednesday, March 31, as scheduled, thanks to the passage of House Bill 1393 riders have hope that it will eventually be restored. However, Clayton county voters now get to decide whether or not to approve an extra penny sales tax in order to fund C-Tran service in the future. Commissioner Sonna Singleton commented on 11 Alive News that 5,000 C-Tran riders will be affected, although 270,000 Clayton residents help pay for the service.
Despite the FTA’s refusal to fund new Xpress routes aimed at C-Tran riders, there are still commuter options available as several areas of Atlanta such as downtown, midtown and Buckhead have transporation management associations eager to help riders find clean commuting options to work and school.
I have read on this blog and elsewhere that some rode C-Tran in order to save gas and avoid vehicle wear and tear. For those who have access to a car and can partner with other riders, carpooling is an option. Sign up with RideSmart to connect with commuters that work and live near you, and share similar work hours.
Another choice is vanpooling, which currently operates a route departing from the JC Penney outlet in Forest Park. According to the Web site they are open to starting new routes and typically, 7-15 riders are needed to create one.
“The cost to ride the van varies, and the route and final destination are decisions made by the group of commuters who will ride and drive the van. The commuters end up operating the van in a way that is mutually agreed upon among the riders, within certain rules set by the van provider,” says Sara Milton, Project Manager of Central Atlanta Progress, Inc.
There are three existing Xpress routes available for those who can get to a park and ride lot. The closest for most C-Tran riders would probably be the #442 (Riverdale to Downtown Atlanta), but the #440 (Hampton-Jonesboro to Downtown Atlanta) and #441 (Jonesboro to Midtown Atlanta) are also possibilities. Xpress expects crowding on these routes once C-Tran ends, and will try to accommodate passengers with any spare coaches they may have available.
All of these options qualify for the Clean Air Campaign’s Commuter Rewards Program, where riders who log in daily are randomly selected each month to win $25 gift cards for using clean commuting options regularly. According to Milton, Carpool Rewards winners are not randomly chosen - as long as both carpool partners log in their rides daily online, they will get a $40 or $60 gift card for 3 or more person carpools.