Thanks to Governor Sonny Perdue’s late signing of House Bill 1446, one thing that we will not be voting on come July 20 is the legislation aimed at reinstating bus service. It is also possible that by this time next year, there will be no public transportation in Clayton at all.
On Tuesday, July 13 (5:30 PM–7:00 PM) C-Tran supporters will march from the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) Park and Ride in Jonesboro to the Board of Commissioners meeting. As per the web site, “The purpose of this rally is to urge the [BOC] to approve House Bill 277, allowing for a public transportation only sales tax to bring back public transportation in Clayton County.”
According to the AJC, Clayton residents will vote on whether to join MARTA in November via a non-binding straw poll. The BOC has until September 2 to approve a binding vote and if not, the state legislature would need to grant an extension.
Additionally, Xpress bus riders are facing fare increases and a looming cutoff date.
“In order to permit the Xpress service to continue operation until June 2011, when the fiscal year 2012 state budget can be considered, [GRTA] management has proposed a group of expense reductions and revenue enhancements,” states Marketing Director Robert Alexander.
Those enhancements include, “Reduc[ing] the rate of discount on the pre-sold fare media and restructure the pass and multiple ticket system; end acceptance of free transfers from MARTA; and, increase cash fares for six GRTA-operated Xpress routes …” which includes Clayton’s route #440. Fares will be calculated based on distance, so the farther away you live the more money you’ll pay.
Xpress will accept public comment on the proposed fare policy change through August 6, 2010. Xpress customers and the public may provide comment on the proposed fare policy changes in writing delivered to the GRTA offices (245 Peachtree Center Ave., Suite 800, Atlanta, 30303); by e-mail to customerservice@XpressGa.com; or at either of two public meetings that will be held on August 5, 2010, the first from 11:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and the second from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Both meetings will be held at the GRTA offices.
Do you ride the Xpress bus? Will you pay the increased fare or find another way to work? Will you march on Tuesday to help reinstate bus service in Clayton?
Finally, what are your thoughts on Tax Commissioner Terry Baskins’ recent brush with the law? Out of all the county employees whose car(s) could be taken, why take one from the person responsible for collecting taxes?