Only $750,000 for Georgia on high-speed rail

Georgia has won just $750,000 from the $8 billion pool of high-speed rail grants that President Obama was scheduled to announce this week.

The White House sent an announcement of the grants to capitol offices Wednesday evening.  Thursday morning state officials confirmed the dollar amount.

Georgia high-speed rail advocates were despondent throughout the day Wednesday, fearing Georgia would get little or none of the money, because it has lagged on rail development while other states have invested.  More than $80 million in federal earmarks for a commuter rail line south of Atlanta have sat idle for years.

The money to be announced Thursday would pay for three feasibility studies, at $250,000 each.

“This is pitiful,” said U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.), when asked for comment.

Other states are expected to get grants to actually build physical rail lines.

The studies would see if it is feasible to build lines from Atlanta to Birmingham and from Macon to Jacksonville, and study a compact for a rail line between Chicago, Louisville, Nashville and Atlanta.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were scheduled to detail the grants in an event in Florida Thursday, virtually confirming that Florida was a significant winner.

Last fall, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told a number of states, including Georgia and Florida, that they had better get their act together on rail transit or risk losing out on the high-speed rail grants.  In a special session weeks later, Florida voted additional annual funding for one rail transit line and expedited buying track for another.

87 comments Add your comment


January 27th, 2010
6:22 pm

I bet Charlotte gets a big cut of the funding.


January 27th, 2010
6:27 pm

this is really sad that we have the third worest traffic in america according to AAA report and only recieve such small support from our state rep’s. We need to get this old politicians out of office and
elect new young smart people. Please help


January 27th, 2010
6:33 pm

This is what happens when you keep putting off vital problems year after year. When the money train arrives, you’re still in your car on the way to the station.

Road Scholar

January 27th, 2010
6:45 pm

What do you expect for a state w/o any trnsportation vision and implementing history for transit?


January 27th, 2010
7:22 pm

Our state elcted officals are to blame for not being more proacive in this area over the years, but ultimately we are to blame for re-electing the idiots every year. I bet this will not be an eye opener to them either. Transporation problems will not change in Georgia until we as voters organize and organzie big and make it known WE need this change. More voters and especially commuters who get stuck in track every day should be furious that our state officals can only manage to get money for a study at this point. We shoudl be unveiling track routes and hiring people at this point not doing a study. How manystudies are needed to see we have a problem.
Come on how much of a no-brianer is light comuter rail to the Atlanta Area?

quick study

January 27th, 2010
7:25 pm

A rail line between Macon & Jax? I’ll save the government 250K. Folks will not give up their cars to go to Florida. Birmingham to Atlanta probably doesn’t make economic sense either. The longer line from Chicago to here might be worth a study.


January 27th, 2010
7:28 pm

Maybe the state could invest the federal money in state lottery tickets in hope of hitting it big enough to fund public transportation.


January 27th, 2010
7:29 pm

You can wholeheartedly thank Guvnah Bubba for this one. He has killed every rail project in the state since he has been in office. I’m sure he took some hefty contributions from Norfolk-Southern and CSX, who don’t want any part of passenger rail.

[...] Hart’s article: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were scheduled to detail the grants in an [...]

Home School DtopOut

January 27th, 2010
7:48 pm

These Politicians can’t run an ice cream cart. They have to have a reward for a family member; before they go after Federal Money. Can’t Saxby get his son a cut of this pie.


January 27th, 2010
8:14 pm

What’s the problem, Georgia did NOT and will not support the president? I don’t see the issue.


January 27th, 2010
8:22 pm

Rail to south of Atlanta because that’s where all the commuters are correct? Macon to JVille? What the @##$ for? Why not Atlanta to Charlotte? Atlanta to Chattanooga?

Most of the population lives north up 75 and 85 correct? Why not light rail lines up 400, Ptree Industrial, 75, and 85, and a line down towards Ptree City? With an outer ring light rail that parallels 285 and connects major business centers like Cumberland and Perimeter.

I’ve all but given up seeing rail service in my lifetime in this city (I’m 38), but I hope my kid’s grandkids enjoy it someday.

The City Too Stupid To Insult

January 27th, 2010
8:25 pm

Wait, what about Atlanta to Athens? Does that make too much sense?


January 27th, 2010
8:38 pm

The federal grants are generally for interstate rail, which is why the Brain Train (Atl.-Athens) and commuter rail are not featured. But improvements for commuter rail can help facilitate interstate rail, and vice versa.

We need rail. Tell your legislators – or else you are part of the problem.

Bring Me the Head of Deforest Kelley

January 27th, 2010
8:55 pm

Georgia – you get what you voted for (or in this case, you don’t get what you didn’t vote for). The real disappointment will come next month if the P’tree streetcar – which is shovel ready – doesn’t win federal funding.


January 27th, 2010
9:31 pm

Perdue has ignored transportation for seven years. He deplores any kind of rail. Finally, this year, he moves to support a transportation tax, but is too chicken to put it on the ballot until 2012 when he’ll be back south examining horse’s behinds. He is the worst governor this state has had in decades.


January 27th, 2010
9:35 pm

The Feds will invest if WE invest first! Is this REALLY any surprise? So long has GA focused solely on solving our “traffic” problems through investing in asphalt. No one is going to give us money for rail if we can’t demonstrate first that we are willing to commit ourselves to it. I hope this is a wake-up call to state leadership. Oxendine…this means YOU.


January 27th, 2010
9:39 pm

Like your handle, Bones, but the Peachtree Streetcar will do more to impede transportation — blocking traffic on Peachtree — than it will to move people. It’s an economic development project that, if built, is doomed to fail much like Underground. Only tourists would ride it and we don’t have enough tourists to make it feasible. The Beltline is a much smarter transportation project. Expanded MARTA rail or high speed interstate rail are even smarter transportation projects. Naturally, this being Atlanta, officialdom will back the wrong projects for the wrong reasons.

IC Atlanta

January 27th, 2010
9:41 pm

Where is the respect for Rep. Lewis? He votes for everything Obama wants and gets crumbs. It is time for him to go Landrieu or Nelson on Obama. Hold out for the $$$’s John – they are paying.

richard carter

January 27th, 2010
9:48 pm

This is a prime example of our governor and our legislator not working to best solve our states problems and create environments for new jobs and new industries. Instead they are more worried about their little special interests that are already established in our communities because they are the ones who funnel them money. The people have not been served in this state and most of these politicians should be voted out and install fresh blood. They could not sit on their hands any more than these guys.

Name One

January 27th, 2010
10:30 pm

Charlotte is already the banking capitol of the South. And they are attracting other companies. They have a new light rail system, and its growing. Atlanta should be the center of a Southeastern rail system, with spokes to Charlotte, Birmingham, Nashville, Savannah/Jacksonville, and definitely BILOXI!


January 27th, 2010
10:36 pm

And yet if one drives near places like Sumter county there’s all kind of massive road construction happening. Ironic that on the one hand some clamor on and on about less government, but are the first to want a hand out when it comes to subsidizing their roads or infrastructure in the middle of nowhere. Georgia will continue its slide deeper into mediocrity.


January 27th, 2010
10:52 pm

Did anyone even read this article? Did anyone notice that this money was for national high-speed rail, not Atlanta regional rail, or even Georgia inter-city rail? That’s why the three studies all cross state lines. Georgia’s state-level failure to act on alternatives to road-building (often for the sake of road-building, like parts of GDOT’s GRIP program, which has the goal of putting 98% of the state within 20 miles of a 4-lane road, regardless of population or economic utility) has set us up for failure at the national level.

If you’re worried or dissatisfied about Atlanta regional stuff, better start paying attention to what’s happening at the local level with MARTA and the other systems. If you’re worried or dissatisfied about Georgia inter-city rail, better start paying attention to GDOT and Amtrak. Or start riding Greyhound.

IC Atlanta

January 27th, 2010
11:05 pm

Name One – Charlotte WAS the banking capitol of the south. B of A might move their HQ too. However, their city leadership and perhaps state leadership has gotten more done on transportation than this state. Sonny sees the light, but will it matter in his last year? Thank the Lord Glenn Richardson is gone – maybe with some change there will be action.

professional skeptic

January 27th, 2010
11:08 pm

No one should be surprised, not in the least. This is exactly what Georgia deserves for voting in a visionless, gutless, spineless, corrupt, obstructionist, backwoods bunch of jokers, clowns, goobers, and do-nothings to lead our state.


January 27th, 2010
11:11 pm

High speed rail to Jacksonville, what a joke. And before anyone begins, NO the northern suburbs don’t want Marta. And yes, where Marta is, crime comes with it. BTW, maybe Shirley Frankline or Bill Campbell can run for Governor, they were such great Mayors. Wait, is Bill out of jail yet?


January 27th, 2010
11:18 pm

FoolState – glad to hear there is no crime where you live – where is that again?


January 27th, 2010
11:32 pm

The State leaders have a more progressive idea for transportation – buggies with two old horses pulling them. You can blame no one except the voters who put these old farts into office over and over again for these issues. There are 5.1 million people in metro Atlanta who can nearly override the rest of the peanut and chicken farmers in the State, if only they’d leave their Starbucks and Pilates classes long enough to actually VOTE now and then – but they don’t. It’s your fault.


January 27th, 2010
11:32 pm

Rail, Not south of town for sure.

Michael [Georgia]

January 27th, 2010
11:34 pm

Yeah, I’m betting Charlotte, NC will get a ton of the money too. Maybe more than Atlanta, because their politicians, unlike the idiots here in Atlanta, invest in their state’s transportation.

Maybe it’s because Bank of America is headquartered there? B of A is pretty loyal to Charlotte. Atlanta will continue to be one huge traffic jam, but North Carolina is getting a HUGE PORTION of the tracks and Florida too.


January 27th, 2010
11:34 pm

and not intown either. The last two robberies in my area, people drove 60 miles from Jonesboro and Riverdale to rob stores.


January 27th, 2010
11:34 pm

The elected officials in Georgia have consistently refuse to plan on moving Georgia into the future with a comprehensive transportation plan. We the people of Georgia have sat on our hands for years and allowed them to get away with their inaction. We all know that the commute time has increased dramatically over the years; yet we managed to ignore it and do nothing about correcting the problems associated by our inability to act.

Waiting in Traffic

January 27th, 2010
11:37 pm

Move along, nothing to see here. Though he didn’t announce specific numbers at the time, when USDOT Sec. LaHood visited Atlanta several months ago he already said GA shouldn’t expect much out of these funds. When asked what the state needs to do to be considered for these funds and future funds, and he said “get its act together.” He pointed to numerous other regions and states with leaders that do have their act together and said that is where the focus will likely be directed.

Good Government

January 28th, 2010
12:25 am

Georgia is falling behind the curve. Instead of paving more lanes, we should invest in rail and put all the tractor trailer truck traffic on rail. It would be cheaper, quicker, and more efficient. It would also free up space on the roads preventing the need for additional lanes to be built.

Alas, common sense will not prevail.

Sunny Perdue....Worst Gov Ever!

January 28th, 2010
12:33 am

Blame it ALL on Sunny. His inaction for the last 7 years is the reason we get NO money. I only cared about big business and could care less about Atlanta. Get Roy Barnes back into so Atlanta can be the jewel of the south again


January 28th, 2010
1:11 am

Having lived in NYC for 16 yrs, I was astonished at how lacking the transportation alternatives are in Atlanta. For Atlanta to become a world class destination, it needs a very good transportation system including rail transit, etc. It’s almost pathetic how limited the scope of MARTA is. This is what happens when you get a Republican legislature and Governor that work to support their business friends at the expense of the electorate. I’m even surprised that they got money to do the feasibility study. They shouldn’t have gotten anything.


January 28th, 2010
1:17 am

Racism keeps many Whites off of public transit used by Blacks. The only way to get more Whites on public transit is segregation. Everyone is too scared to implement segregation, so a large plurality of Metro Atlanta (many Whites) will continue to avoid public transit.


January 28th, 2010
1:37 am

1837 – Terminus
1843 – Marthasville
1847 – Atlanta
2010 – Terminal
Thanks Sonny. Our city was built on being a transportation hub. You have managed to roll the clock back 173+ years. Unless Obama can introduce tractors to the commuter rail Gov. Sonny won’t be interested.


January 28th, 2010
2:16 am

A light rail system makes sense …right! We have to look at it from the other side. GA charges tax on all cars every bithday. Tax on every gallon of gas as every state. BUT! GA doesn’t charge a flat rate per gallon as the Fed and MOST states. They charge a percentage so when gas goes up they make MORE. GA officals want to keep thier friends, family, and pockets happy. That is what happens in a republican state. Alaska is the perfect example….oil rights for work on my house. How long was that going on? That is just some of what we know since the people involved aren’t going to “rat” on themselves. Think of it, would they take on soo much for $17k a year without the benefits? It’s American politics at its worst but nothing new.


January 28th, 2010
5:00 am

We probably won’t get a high speed rail any time soon but thanks to the dedicated efforts of Franklin and now Reed, we’ll get what they think is really important, STREETCARS ON PEACHTREE ST.


January 28th, 2010
5:30 am

We can’t blame anyone but ourselves for putting these same bozo’s in office in GA and never demanding any action out of them. I wouldn’t give them a dime either.

[...] Read the rest here: As little as $750000 for Georgia on high-speed rail | Gold Dome Live [...]


January 28th, 2010
6:54 am

I have lived in Georgia for 16 years now and watched Atlanta grow into a major city. Unfortunately the politicians are not growing with it. The last thing we need is another highway, which is the solution here for transportation. Even putting a rail system around the 285 will relieve the pressure. Building another highway just adds to the problem. People will buy more cars!!!!!

High Speed

January 28th, 2010
7:06 am

I second Frank’s comments on Reed and Franklin. Concerning the stimulus amount received – Secretary Lahood delivered messages to both Georgia and Florida. Florida listened. Georgia will now play catch up.


January 28th, 2010
7:20 am

The feds looked at how well ATL runs its airport and used that as a benchmark for how bad we would screw up.


January 28th, 2010
7:55 am

Georgetown in DC thought that they didn’t want the metro because of the crime, too. Now they feel like idiots because no one can reach them.


January 28th, 2010
7:58 am

Don’t blame the State Government – The people has shown that they do not want what the government is selling (MARTA). If the people wanted MARTA, the trains would be full.


January 28th, 2010
8:07 am

Want to see warp speed action under the gold dome? Let an issue involve the the three Gs (God, Gays and Guns).

ATL always a wannabe

January 28th, 2010
8:14 am

G-D! The “blueprints” are out there you stupid, idiotic POLITICIANS!! They’ve been in place for years and years, and ATL officials have sat on their crooked, stubborn old-school behinds and done nothing about it. ATL wants to be some big NY/Chicago of the South but refuses to build EXTENSIVE rail lines.

The blueprints aren’t going away either people ….. Chicago, NY, DC, Boston, Philly, take a peek at their rail systems. Get off your arses and build a somewhate similar, RELIABLE system in ATL and surrounding metro areas. Otherwise, continue to enjoy the worsening traffic!

Road Scholar

January 28th, 2010
8:16 am

Lawrenceille: The State gas tax is 7.5 cents per gallon with an additional 4% sales tax of which 75% goes to transportation. The problem is that it was set in the early 1980’s and has never been adjusted for inflation. Part of the tax is fixed, the rest (sales tax) fluctuates with the cost of gas.

FOOLSTATE: you are correctly named; build a fence around yorself..


January 28th, 2010
8:29 am

Corey, thats a great idea. I’m sure the state house will support a rail line that hands out a pistol to every passenger, plays Billy Graham sermons over the speakers, and comes with a built in “gaydar” to keep it strictly hetero (although I wonder how many of our Republican friends will be allowed on board).

I guess the reason none of them want to do anything for Atlanta is because we’re a bunch of godless sodomites… but I’ll take that over being a toothless yokel any day.


January 28th, 2010
8:29 am

As I see it there are several reasons why Georgia isn’t getting funds. First of all Georgia didn’t “vote right”. In other words Georgia didn’t vote for Obama! Let’s call the stimulus package what it really is; a giant “slush fund” to reward Obama’s supporters. That’s the main reason we are getting such small funding. We are also now a strong Republican state so there is little chance in helping Obama in 2010 or 2012. There fore no funding.

I have not problem with Georgia not getting “throw away” stimulus money for rail. What I think a lot of the states that get funding will find, that this is typical “knee jerk” funding. The state will only get enough money to hang themselves. Just enough money to get started but no funding to maintain the service. They will then have to dig deep in their pockets and raise local taxes to maintain the service. So Obama, NO THANK YOU for throwing us a bone!

The other problem is that our state does not have it’s transportation act together. This comes from a lack of vision on the part of our governor and our legislature.Atlanta is the transportation hub of the south. However if we don’t continue to plan and invest this will slip away. This leadership most come from a combination of public and private partners. Georgia must wake up a realize that if they don’t take action and come up with sustainable services Georgia will lose the place as the hub of the South. However, this leadership most come from Georgia not Washington.


January 28th, 2010
8:34 am

Too bad there wasn’t a “go fish” funding effort. We would have won hands down. When will voters wake up and see that Georgia is taking way too many steps back ?

liz from SLC

January 28th, 2010
8:38 am

I live in SLC Utah and have recently purchased a home in ATL with the hopes of living there soon. I lived in Canton for one year and was horrified by the traffic. Loved ATL so much willing to brave it again. Very surprised to see such a beautiful city so backwards in its traffic issues. I agree with the previous comments… you get what you vote for.


January 28th, 2010
8:44 am

Rich, the MARTA trains are not empty. Have you ever even been on MARTA? It’s the 8th most used public transit system in the entire country. It’s packed during rush hour.

Yet again state-wide politicians fail the Atlanta area. Why do they hate us city dwellers so much?


January 28th, 2010
9:07 am

This is what transit in Atlanta/Georgia could look like.

I voted for Marta in Gwinnett in 1990. If everyone else had, we’d have Marta straight up 85 today. We need a statewide vision and not local blindness to be successful in the future.


January 28th, 2010
9:19 am

I’ve lived here since 1990 and watched GA voters refuse MARTA (racism), drag their feet on light rail, and even though we build more roads, the traffic here is un-bearable now. I live downtown and am interviewing for a job in Alpharetta but I’m probably not going to take it because the traffic, even with a reverse commute, will be ridiculous.

Atlanta will NEVER be a world class city until we vote out the backwards good ole boy network that is running this state into the 19th century.


January 28th, 2010
9:20 am

Plain and simple, Whites fear mass transit. You here this all the time. Ever ride MARTA?


January 28th, 2010
9:22 am

Until Georgia helps itself we are going to keep getting limited funds. Expand the MARTA rail in to areas that should have it in the city and metro area (ex. Emory area and Tucker, Cumberland Mall area and Marietta, Gwinett Place area, and Hapeville and Riverdale area. Expand the bus system (local service and more express service)and bump up the frequencies. Lets be honest who wants to wait 30 minutes for a bus during rush hour? Try 10 to 15 minutes atleast. Not only have commuter rail just for the metro area (maybe something similar to Long Island Rail Road in NY) but also to towns outside like Macon or Columbus. Forget about the streetcar down Peachtree. I’d rather see buses coming every 5 minutes on our signature street (maybe 60 foot articulated buses). Keep the newest buses on that route and keep them clean even if the have ads on them. When people from the outside see that kind of investment they are going to want to give more money for things like high speed rail. The purpose is so that you can get to that city fast and then don’t have to depend on a car once you get there.


January 28th, 2010
9:26 am

The Feds (USDOT Secretary La Hood, in particular) have made it abundantly clear that they plan to spend HSR funds where the state and local governments have made a committment to passenger rail with their own funds. This is why states such as Maine, North Carolina and Wisconsin have received funds (more than $800 million for Wisconsin), while Georgia has received a pittance. Maine, North Carolina and Wisconsin have invested in new track, new stations, and new equipment. Ridership is breaking records. What has Georgia done?

W's Economy

January 28th, 2010
9:51 am

Atlanta to Athens — Study Done
Atlanta to Macon — Study Done
Statewide Study — Done

DOT has had a state plan in place for at least 10 years! IT’S THE LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNOR !! They refuse to fund passenger rail. The $80 mil. mentioned in the article that we haven’t used — know why? Because GA won’t match it with $15 million. 80 for 15 !! What a deal, right? Nope, the Reps. under the gold dome PROBHIBITED the money. Really, Probhited! Fulton, Atlanta, and Clayton were ready to come up with it on their own, but the State said NO. This problem has not happened by accident folks. These were conscious political decisions. Vote ‘em out now!

(Check out this link – – it’s the old DOT website for passenger rail. Great commentary on how important the Republicans see transportation in this state)

John Tackett

January 28th, 2010
10:00 am

I have been dreaming of the day we will actually see some of the CfPT plans come to be. I have lived in the Atlanta area for over 20 years, coming form California, and the one thing that has already struck me as backwards is the love Georgians have for asphalt, and the cars that ride on it. Even car-centric LA is developing a transit system, encompassing rail, buses, bike paths, and HOV to reduce the congestion (and the smog.)

I ride my bike to work 3-4 times a week from East Point to Buckhead and see the traffic on the connector as I pass over it. But I also endure the “get off the road” attitude from motorists towards cyclists. I am just trying to go to work, just like the motorists, and I pay my share of road taxes, just like the motorists (I also own a car) but I want to make a difference; small, but still a difference. The other days I walk and use MARTA to go get to work. And yes MARTA is a system that needs help, but that has to happen on the local and state level first, before we can ask for Federal help.

But it also has to have the support of local businesses to work. Reward employees who use alternative transportation to work. Encourage and support financially carpools. Reduce parking at the workplace to encourage people to use these alternatives. BellSouth, now AT&T, have lots at 4 MARTA station to encourage employees to take MARTA, and they subsidize MARTA passes for employees. What about other employers in Atlanta??

It is a group effort to solve the states transportation issues and to move Georgia and Atlanta into the 21st century in regards to transportation. As long as there is a “Us vs. Them” attitude with our politicians, it will never happen.


January 28th, 2010
10:05 am

OK. Atlanta wants an intermodel terminal which will connect auto, rail, bus, airlines, rapid transit, etc So Georgia & Atlanta wants to put the terminal downtown next to the Georgia Dome….. WHAT ARE YOU CRAZY. The terminal needs to be at or near the AIRPORT.. You know that thing south of downtown that is the LARGEST IN THE WORLD. Downtown can be a stop but not the terminus. Secondly, you can’t get to the area proposed (The Gulch). There is no parking (just look at the dome). You have to change trains at 5 points to get there. We use to use MARTA to go to events at Philips Arena, WCC, or the Dome. But MARTA is so disorganized and you have to wait and wait and wait for a train to 5 points. Then wait, and wait, and wait for a train to North Springs (oh yeah only if there is one). If not, then wait, and wait, and wait for a train at LImburgh. 3 changes of trains to go 20 miles. How convenient is that. NOT!!!!

Downtown Atlanta is not the center of metro Atlanta anymore. Has not been for over 20 years. Stop wasting scarce taxpayer money on projects that do not make sense.

Rail service makes sense from Macon to the airport or Columbus to the airport or Athens to the airport. If anyone want to go into Atlanta then they can catch Marta at the airport.

When will the people of Georgia wake up and realize those we have put in charge to run our government are for the most part, incompetent.

professional skeptic

January 28th, 2010
10:25 am

I’m going to keep posting this article so that Georgia — newcomers and long-time residents alike — will know the truth about the incestuous relationship between Georgia’s state lawmakers and Georgia’s road builder industry. As long as they keep lining each others’ pockets, state funding for rail transit in Georgia will be negligible.

King of Stone Mountain

January 28th, 2010
10:43 am

I’m not surprised. Gotta love “Red State” governing bodies, who never fail invest in “the people’s” best interest… (yeah, right)


January 28th, 2010
10:50 am

I feel like Charlie Brown. “I got a rock.”

GA Bureaucrat

January 28th, 2010
10:52 am

You know why there isn’t ridership on MARTA outside the city? MARTA doesn’t go outside the city.

I would absolutely love if MARTA was expanded up the 75/575 corridor.

Fortunately there is the GRTA Xpress bus service. I can’t tell you how happy I am to leave the car at home and read or sleep on the bus. I can’t wait for the HOV lanes to be put in and shorten my commute another 15-30 minutes one way.

I hate that the Feds are spending us further into debt, but if they are going to throw money at the states for infrastructure we should be able to dust off the thousands of plans and studies on mass transit and make a few of them shovel ready in short order.

Piso Mojado

January 28th, 2010
10:56 am

Atlanta’s (and Georgia’s) best days are way behind them, my friends. We can thank Republican leadership for our sorry state (pun intended).

GA Bureaucrat

January 28th, 2010
11:00 am

ET – whare the Gulch intermodal system will work is for local metro area commuters. It would connect suburban rail and bus with in town transport and regional transportation services. It would also make getting to sports events and conventions at the World Congress Center much easier for tourists (and conventions are a big part of ATL tourism).

The MARTA ride to the airport is only a bonus. I see travellers all the time on the MARTA north line because it is easier to get to than airport parking.

I don’t think 5 points and Underground Atlanta would drag down the transportation center – I think the intermodal hub would revitalize the Underground and 5 points area. Look at comparable hubs in Chicago and NY. Check out this page for something really visionary –


January 28th, 2010
11:04 am

what do you expect from a state with a horse and buggy mentality.

tc daniel

January 28th, 2010
11:56 am

Another Study? They’ve studied this for nearly 40 years and still can’t decide. They could have built it for the cost of these yearly studies.
The Japanese studied it once and took the bull by the horns while knowing they have earthquakes and typhoons. Talk about being stuck in the 70s – We are definitely stuck in the 19th Century just after the horseless carriage.


January 28th, 2010
1:11 pm

Streetcars on Peachtree? What a joke! They would improve traffic in the same way that the horse drawn carriages do.

Tired of Big Gov't

January 28th, 2010
1:24 pm

Government, Government, Government…Why haven’t private companies jumped at the opportunity to build high speed rail systems? BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT PROFITABLE! Ask AMTRAK. Americans need to quit looking for handouts, complaining about a drive to work, and basically counting on state and local government to solve their problems. Go back to school, study socialism and socialist failed states. Go to Paris and see how High Speed Rails have improved their traffic. Three hour commutes from an airport 20 miles away. Here is a tip for other commuters, leave earlier. I am sure people in Savannah, Statesboro, Valdosta, and other small towns in Georgia really want to raise taxes during a recession to pay for Gwinnett, Cobb, Fulton, and Dekalb’s issues. Atlanta has become a socialist joke and like California is to the nation; Atlanta is to Georgia. A burden.


January 28th, 2010
1:42 pm

STOP complaining Georgians. Put your acts together and delievery your promise of working for citizens. Had we put our differences outside the work and put our heads together to come up with a solid fast railway systems, we would be getting millions of dollars like Florida and create tons of jobs in Georgia.

Big Daddy

January 28th, 2010
2:00 pm

Professional Skeptic – Let me help you out. Keep up the good work.

I’m going to keep posting this article so that Georgia — newcomers and long-time residents alike — will know the truth about the incestuous relationship between Georgia’s state lawmakers and Georgia’s road builder industry. As long as they keep lining each others’ pockets, state funding for rail transit in Georgia will be negligible.

Link Report this comment


January 28th, 2010
2:02 pm

I could not have made a better map of what MARTA could have been to help traffic around Metro Atlanta. I’d just add a MARTA service around 285 beltway.

Intown Lib

January 28th, 2010
2:11 pm

Expect more disappointments in the future unless our State leaders wake up to the fact that they have failed us miserably for the last 8 years. It’s time for some major changes on GA Capitol Hill.


January 28th, 2010
2:16 pm

This is a waste of money- we really do not need regional trains in the South. After taking high speed rail to Jacksonville how am I supposed to get around? Rent a car? The rail systems in the NE work because once someone arrives in NYC, Philly, or DC by train they can actually get to where they want to go within the city via public transit.

I would support an expansion of MARTA but there are too many polite 21st century racists for that to ever happen.


January 28th, 2010
2:48 pm

Sure.. rent a car.. Why not? Isn’t that what you do when you fly? Why should this be any different?Except that the rail station would most-likely be downtown, where on average, your destination should be easily reachable. You could flag a cab or you could have a membership in a car-sharing program such as Zipcar. But the last time I checked, the larger cities of Florida have transit systems.

@Tired of Big Gov’t- Remind me again; what private corporation singularly financed the connector again. I want to buy their stock… How about I-85 or GA-400. Why didn’t they put their logo on it? Maybe the new runway at the Hartsfield-Jackson should’ve been painted “Home Depot” orange… or the Connector “Coca-Cola” red. If we were to apply your silly, tired illogic, we would have little or no infrastructure whatsoever.


January 28th, 2010
2:55 pm

Oh yeah, and “FoolState” when you do build the fence around your house as “RoadScholar” suggest.. Don’t worry about the gate. You sure don’t want the MARTA riding “boogey-men” to get to you. And we really don’t wantt you to get out either…


January 28th, 2010
3:02 pm

Tired of Big Gov’t… Just so happens that I currently live in Paris, and I ride the transit system everyday. I’ve never had anything even approaching a three-hour commute to the airport. That’s because I TAKE THE TRAIN!! Traffic is bad here because their are 8 million people here. If Paris didn’t have an elaborate transit system that makes Atlanta’s fall short of joke status, this place would completely shut down. Acually, less than 40% of Parisians even own cars. You obviously no NOTHING about this place.. So don’t pretend that you do…

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by TheCircleH, ajc Transportation. ajc Transportation said: Obama to give $8 billion for high speed rail; GA, lagging in rail development, to get as little as $750,000: [...]


January 28th, 2010
5:51 pm

There is no support or funding at the state legislature,GDOT Board,Governor,Lt.Governor,ARC,GRTA,RDC’s and cities and counties along routes.The highway contractors own these entities.All these routes have been studied numerous times,more studies is a waste of money.No rail route can pay for itself which is what they think roads do.The external benefits is what results from rail.


January 29th, 2010
5:52 am

Tired of Big Gov’t, if you hate this country, our representatives and our form of government you should leave. Try moving to a country with very limited government and one of the most pure forms of free market capitalism. That would be Somalia. I’ll even buy you the one way ticket.

Big Daddy

January 29th, 2010
12:57 pm

Our elected officials have let us down again. We need better representation at the federal, state and local levels. At one point the state and region truly had individual that represented our best interest, they delivered the money – Hartsfield, Murphy, Ivan Allen, Sam Nunn, Andrew Young, Joe Frank Harris and even Roy Barnes delivered for us. $750,000.00? You have go to be kidding.


January 29th, 2010
1:03 pm

Hey you GOP wingnuts cannot blame this on Atlanta.

The reason there is no rail between Athens and Atlanta or Atlanta and Macon is because the state GOP doesn’t want it.

If you live outside the fence, enjoy your car.

I walk to a MARTA station every day and ride to work. I chose to live in the city for that very reason. You suburbanited neet to quit whining and blaming the city for your transportation (and water) issues.

Infrastructure takes money and leadership. GDOT is a fiscal black hole and Governor Perdue is less than zero on infrastructure leadership.


January 29th, 2010
1:54 pm

No legislator commutes, they don’t feel the problem every day.They want local roads at state expense because they are all local real estate developers.For the elite commuters, they want HOT lanes at state expense.The transportation sales tax is a tax for roads only.