MARTA targeted for petty bullying by state

Under state law, MARTA has been forced to operate under restrictions and handicaps faced by no other major transit agency in the country.

To review:

– MARTA is the only major transit agency in the country that gets no state financial assistance. The state does help finance express bus service between downtown and the suburbs, but it provides no financial support to MARTA, the transit agency serving its capital city and chief economic engine.

– Despite the lack of state investment or involvement in MARTA, a special legislative committee has long been empowered to provide “oversight” over the transit agency. The MARTA Oversight Committee, or MARTOC, is the only such oversight committee of a non-state agency in the Legislature.

– MARTA operates under an odd state requirement that it spend at least 50 percent of its budget on capital projects, a rule that cripples its flexibility and ability to govern its own affairs. While the restriction is temporarily suspended, legislators refuse to abolish it altogether not because it serves a purpose, but because of the control it gives them over MARTA officials.

– If metro Atlanta voters pass a 1-penny transportation sales tax in July, MARTA would be barred by law from using any of the proceeds for its operating budget. That’s right: the metro region’s major transit system would be forbidden to get help for funding its operations from a metro transportation funding source. No other transit agency in the region or state is treated that way under the law.

The absence of state funding can be explained — in part — by the fact that rural and suburban legislators don’t want MARTA competing against their own local projects for money. The attitude is short-sighted and archaic, but it at least has some rational basis. And given the state’s own budget problems, it’s unlikely to change soon.

However, the other restrictions cannot be justified even in those terms. If you want an explanation for them, you have to turn to issues that have nothing to do with transit or transportation or issues of good governance.

It comes down to this:

MARTA has long served as the unfortunate battleground on which unrelated conflicts — urban vs. suburban and rural, Democratic vs. Republican, black vs. white, rich vs. poor, traditional vs. modern — have been fought out. The current fight in the Legislature over House Bill 1052 is a case in point.

The bill bars MARTA from giving pay raises to its employees, which logically ought to be a decision made by MARTA’s board. State legislators have also stripped out language that would allow MARTA to contract with suburban counties to provide rail service. That authority is critical to creating a regional transit system, but state legislators want to dictate such arrangements themselves.

Politically, the most controversial part of the bill would strip Fulton County of the power to appoint two members of the MARTA board and instead give that authority to north Fulton mayors. That provision has little to do with MARTA; it’s a continuation of the bitter fight to separate north Fulton into a separate county, with MARTA this time as the unwitting battleground for it.

At some point, this has to end. If metro Atlanta is to succeed in modernizing its transportation system, transit has to become a symbol of and a producer of regional unity, rather than a proxy for divisiveness and conflict created elsewhere.

– Jay Bookman

232 comments Add your comment

Normal, Plain and Simple

March 19th, 2012
6:32 am

Peadawg

March 19th, 2012
6:42 am

Jay whining about gov’t over-regulating…good start to the Monday after Spring Break.

BTW, I agree with you. It’s just ironic.

Jay

March 19th, 2012
6:46 am

Pea, I have no problem whatsoever with the argument that this particular regulation or that particular regulation are bad and need to be revised or dropped. It’s the “cut regulations across the board” mantra that I find foolish, because it’s based entirely on ideology without regard to why a particular regulation was enacted and what would happen in its absence.

It’s an easy simple refrain in a complicated, complex world.

jeff

March 19th, 2012
6:50 am

So the state, that still pays nothing towards the running of MARTA, is able to dictate the pay, terms of use, operating nature and expansioon of a local agency? I thought the CONservatives were for local control. What more ocal does the state leg. want? And if the people of the surrounding areas want MARTA to come in and provide services they can nt do as efficently, why not. Because CONservatives do not care about you or local control, they want the power of the purse for themselves, And to hell with anyone who opposes such things. They are in charge. The wizards of smart in the GA leg. know what is best. CONservatives in GA are just like those in DC. THey want the power over others lives, and to bad if it ends up hurting in the long run. Oh Well.

Misty Fyed

March 19th, 2012
6:55 am

Whenever I start to weaken and want to support Marta funding, all I need to do is go and ride Marta on the weekend to remind me that I don’t want a penny of my tax dollars going to it.

Now to balance that with the need we have for a valid transportation plan. Scub Marta. Create a new entity; hopefully with full participation by all metro counties and cities. Roll Marta assets into it.

Jay

March 19th, 2012
7:01 am

So Misty, what about your experience makes you unwilling to support it?

Ayn Rant

March 19th, 2012
7:13 am

MARTA and the airport helped make Atlanta great, transformed it from a provincial Southern town into a booming American metropolis. The state government keeps Georgia, outside Atlanta, poor and backward, no better than South Carolina and Alabama.

Can anyone name a state project of quality and renown? I can’t think of one. Georgia, and the other states, are embarrassing anachronisms in modern America, 50 jackass governors and legislatures mimicking the national President and the Congress, but accomplishing nothing.

The first step to reducing the size of government in America, eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy, and cutting taxes should be to eliminate states, or at least reduce their power to simple tasks like designing the state flag, designating the state bird, and deciding where to post the God of Israel’s Covenant with the Jewish people.

Simple Truths

March 19th, 2012
7:13 am

Jay, you are wrong about the part about stripping Fulton County appointing MARTA board members. That speaks more about the ineptitude of the Fulton County Commission than the north Fulton split.

JamVet

March 19th, 2012
7:13 am

…not because it serves a purpose, but because of the control it gives them…

There in a nutshell, seems to be the bedrock philosophy of their horrific Republicanism.

They lost their War on American Culture back in the 1960s and 1970s and they have been enraged ever since.

Even so, the reactionaries hope like hell then can figure out a way to force anyone and everyone to do what they want them to do. And live the way they command them to.

And they use the force of government to accomplish that.

Reaganesque BIG government control freaks, is what they are…

Ayn Rant

March 19th, 2012
7:14 am

Please excuse the dupication! The AJC was slow on the uptake when I posted this morning.

Jm

March 19th, 2012
7:17 am

There are perfectly good reasons for the 50% requirement

JamVet

March 19th, 2012
7:19 am

Ayn,

To your point at 7:13…

A new report measuring states on the strength of their laws on public corruption and government openness ranks Georgia last in the nation.

The report, released today, scored states on 330 “corruption risk indicators” including open records law, campaign finance rules, and auditing and budgeting procedures. Georgia received an overall grade of 49 out of 100, an F.

Georgia scored at or near the bottom in a number of categories in the study, including conflict-of-interest laws for civil servants, enforcement of ethics rules and government procurement laws.

http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-government/georgia-last-in-public-1390032.html?cxtype=rss_news_61499

Congrats, Republicans!

All those decades of being on the outside looking in. and what happens when you finally do get the reigns of power in Atlanta?

You should be ashamed of these people that you elected and enable.

But you’re not…

Doggone/GA

March 19th, 2012
7:21 am

“There are perfectly good reasons for the 50% requirement”

There you go Jay! What more to you need to refute what you’ve written?

Jm

March 19th, 2012
7:27 am

“If metro Atlanta voters pass a 1-penny transportation sales tax in July, MARTA would be barred by law from using any of the proceeds for its operating budget.”

Because we are trying to expand the transportation system in Atlanta

Not subsidize operations

The 1% tax to subsidize Marta operations already exists

Jm

March 19th, 2012
7:31 am

“At some point, this has to end. If metro Atlanta is to succeed in modernizing its transportation system, transit has to become a symbol of and a producer of regional unity, rather than a proxy for divisiveness and conflict created elsewhere.”

No one in GA is competent and powerful enough to run Marta or any transit system effectively

Mick

March 19th, 2012
7:33 am

jamvet

Thanks for turning me on to the yes aim high shoot low, I’d heard it before but didn’t know what album, very hypnotic tune. Down here in miami, our rail system is quite limited but this summer it will connect to the airport, I’ll consider using it now…

Jm

March 19th, 2012
7:34 am

“legislators refuse to abolish it altogether not because it serves a purpose”

It serves a purpose. Jay is too ignorant or willfully blind to grasp it.

Normal, Plain and Simple

March 19th, 2012
7:39 am

I have no problem with MARTA other than it doesn’t go where I would like it to go, namely Cherokee County. I see MARTA as a “local only” Atlanta/Fulton County problem for now. I rarely go into the city…maybe twice a year to The Shakespeare Tavern. MARTA is too hard to use for me. I have to drive from Woodstock to Buckhead to take the train. I’d pay a penny more tax for expansion, otherwise, meh.

Let the GOP folks in office do what they were elected to do….BTW, does anybody know what that is? Just wondering….

JamVet

March 19th, 2012
7:48 am

Mick, that was a great comeback album for them.

Jm’s modus operandi here: he weighs in on every single topic as though he has some great knowledge and mastery of it when in reality, he has none.

So, he spitball’s goofy comments and constantly attacks other bloggers, including the host, personally. For no reason.

Like Ann Landers wrote, “Who raised this vegetable?”!

Jm

March 19th, 2012
7:49 am

For those too ignorant of transportation history (and the existence of the 59% rule), I refer you to the history of the long island railroad, to cite but one example

Jm

March 19th, 2012
7:49 am

Jm

March 19th, 2012
7:57 am

Jamvet, I read more history in 2 years than you’ve probably read in your life

If you don’t understand the past, you can’t understand the future

And while history doesn’t repeat itself, it does rhyme

Mid Ga Retiree

March 19th, 2012
7:58 am

Some posters are blaming Republicans or conservatives for the legislature’s attitude towards MARTA. However, today is no different from 10 years ago when Democrats controlled the legislature.

Marko

March 19th, 2012
8:02 am

MARTA has proven it is incapable of self governance. Had they not been forced to set aside money for capital improvements (as the new 1% would be for) I gurantee you MARTA would still be short of operating money AND have no money for capital improvements. They would have spent (and wasted a good portion of) whatever funds were made available to them.

TaxPayer

March 19th, 2012
8:07 am

Now that we have moved farther north, we do not have the opportunity to use MARTA very often. However, we do still use the MARTA train on 400 to access the airport. I wish the train were extended farther up 400, all the way to Dahlonega. In fact, I wish we had a passenger rail system that extended out from Atlanta to Savannah, Atlanta to Chattanooga, Atlanta to Panama City, etc. It is a shame we lack local and state politicians capable of thinking outside their snug fitting little boxes.

Steve - USA (My 2 cents available for $1 via Paypal)

March 19th, 2012
8:11 am

Taxpayer,

Looks like we live in the same area. The area people describe here as poor and backward. :)

stands for decibels

March 19th, 2012
8:14 am

MARTA has been forced to operate under restrictions and handicaps faced by no other major transit agency in the country.

remember, in Georgia, that’s not a bug, but a feature.

Keep Up--Te gusta losing woofinpoofs?

March 19th, 2012
8:17 am

All to often we hear the false refrain that private enterprise can do anything better than a government agency. All to often the “failures” of govt enterprise are unnecessarily restricted by not-so-well-meaning politicians and the abilities of private enterprise are overstated. MARTA should have no restrictions not imposed on other agencies.

Steve - USA (My 2 cents available for $1 via Paypal)

March 19th, 2012
8:21 am

Judging by the number of comments so far I gather people in Atlanta aren’t to passionate about the MARTA situation.

I suspect another article from Jay will be arriving soon. ;)

Georgia on my mind...

March 19th, 2012
8:21 am

Welcome to Georgia, the state that has a new crown “The Most Ethically Corrupt State in the Union”.

Maximum

March 19th, 2012
8:22 am

JM – thanks as always for sharing the benefits of your arrogant ignorance.

TaxPayer

March 19th, 2012
8:25 am

Some posters are blaming Republicans or conservatives for the legislature’s attitude towards MARTA. However, today is no different from 10 years ago when Democrats controlled the legislature.

I know! Some people are just like that. They tend to blame the people in charge for the problems even when the problems existed and/or originated in an earlier time via other people. I think the key may be to acknowledge and accept the fact that we must identify the problem(s) that needs to be addressed even though said identification may appear as placing blame or even be a matter of placing blame because we must first identify said problem somehow and there will always be those that feel victimized by said identification process. What other choice to we have. Do we deny the existence of problems in order to make sure that everyone feels good. Then what.

stands for decibels

March 19th, 2012
8:26 am

I gather people in Atlanta aren’t to passionate about the MARTA situation.

if you’re as (relatively) new here as I think you are, it might help to know that a lot of the regulars here are kinda talked out on this. I’m willing to do just about anything to get more mass transit projects funded and built in the metro area, even if none of them are anywhere near my own neighborhood, just because it’s the only sensible approach to long-term sustainability.

Local conservatives (whether they used to call themselves “democrats” or now call themselves “republicans” are, per usual, the problem. If they think someone else might benefit from their tax dollars they’re agin’ it.

SS, DD.

JKL2

March 19th, 2012
8:30 am

Jay- However, the other restrictions cannot be justified even in those terms. If you want an explanation for them, you have to turn to issues that have nothing to do with transit or transportation or issues of good governance.

I guess you didn’t read the bill to find all the neat and wonderful things inside it.

JKL2

March 19th, 2012
8:34 am

Georgia on my mind- “The Most Ethically Corrupt State in the Union”.

Compared to IL, you guys are still playing “A” ball down here.

Of course, this can not be linked in any way to our president because of the color of his skin…

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 19th, 2012
8:36 am

…rather than a proxy for divisiveness and conflict created elsewhere.

But…but…but…Obama is the most divisive leader in all of human history, so this must be his fault.

Jm

March 19th, 2012
8:36 am

Taxpayer

Btw, thanks for the link yesterday.

USinUK - missing the dogwoods ... not the pollen count ...

March 19th, 2012
8:36 am

Happy Monday, folks!!

I took the train to work this morning, then hopped the tube to get from Victoria to Hammersmith. Smooth. Easy. Gave me a chance to read my e-mail, read the paper, and play a little Angry Bird.

Have fun sitting in the traffic on 75!!!

crankyoldman

March 19th, 2012
8:37 am

I’ve lived in Georgia for 16 years now, but I don’t live near Atlanta, so I’m not entirely familiar with the geography, political history, and competitive interaction among the 10 bazillion counties that seem to be included in the metro area. However, I lived in Texas 20+ years ago, and they had a lobbying organization known as the Good Roads and Public Transportation Association. Its primary function was to kill any attempt anywhere in the state to establish public transportation. It was funded, of course, by any industry that made money from building roads and keeping as many cars as possible on them. Apart from the obvious auto manufacturers, construction firms, and oil companies, it included cement makers, steel companies, trucking firms, etc.

Is the situation in Georgia similar? Or is it more about the same reason Atlanta has 10 bazillion counties – affluent people breaking away into separate counties from poor black neighborhoods, so they can: 1.) segregate their schools by simply not being in the same district, and 2.) also not being in the same tax pool with people who don’t make enough to pay a lot of taxes? Or am I reading the situation incorrectly?

Jm

March 19th, 2012
8:37 am

Steve

The national issues get the most response

For better or worse

stands for decibels

March 19th, 2012
8:39 am

Compared to IL, you guys are still playing “A” ball down here.

Of course, this can not be linked in any way to our president because of the color of his skin…

JKL2, since you’ve decided to go off-topic and deflecting early in the comments thread, I need you to address something that’s been bugging me for awhile.

are you the same “JKL” who had (maybe a year or so back, in Bookman’s comments pages) sung the praises of Timothy McVeigh, posting that his actions in OK City were “heroic”, or was that some other guy?

I’d kinda like that cleared up. I can think of plenty of reasons to find your opinions odious, but if I’m out of line for associating you with *that* kind of extremism, I’ll be happy to be set straight.

Jm

March 19th, 2012
8:39 am

Usinuk
Mehh. All those transit advantages are going to disappear in 10 years.

Transit will still have some other minor advantages though

stands for decibels

March 19th, 2012
8:40 am

I took the train to work this morning

oh, do STFU, ya limey poofter-lovin’ slut.

carlosgvv

March 19th, 2012
8:40 am

In the end, I suspect this is mostly about keeping “undesirable elements” confined to the general Atlanta area as much as possible. This is precisely the kind of thing I would expect out of the ethically challenged bubba hosses who are in political control here.

(ir)Rational

March 19th, 2012
8:40 am

USinUK – You know, you don’t have to rub in the fact that you actually have good transit options over there. Seriously though, I moved into town to avoid the commute. I was getting home angry and late, and just generally not happy about anything, and then I moved in to town and a “bad” commute is still less than 10 minutes. Unfortunately though, I had a better/easier chance of taking the bus from Kennesaw to Atlanta than I do from Atlanta to Atlanta.

Donovan

March 19th, 2012
8:41 am

MARTA has the same characteristics as AMTRAC; providing a service to riders who have a choice of alternate transit, but expect the government to subsidize their ridership.

This type of thinking is inherent with liberals, poor people, and the Democrat Party. We have all seen what happens when government runs things; wasteful spending, profitless entitlements, and lack of innovation. Sorry libs, but it is what it is. God knows it’s a humanitarian battle cry for you all, but be realistic.

Apparently there are some cautious and vigilent people at the State House that see MARTA for what it is. And that is a train wreck waiting to happen.

I think that Grady Hospital is another fair example of what not to do when public funds are ponied-up to keep the well filled.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 19th, 2012
8:41 am

“You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours.”
– Thomas Jefferson

(ir)Rational

March 19th, 2012
8:43 am

Kam – That’s kinda funny.

Jm

March 19th, 2012
8:45 am

Google has cars that can drive themselves in complicated traffic

And Marta can’t figure out a way to automate trains on a fixed guideway

That tells you plenty…..

carlosgvv

March 19th, 2012
8:46 am

Donovan – 8:41

In other words, “let them eat cake”. Right?

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 19th, 2012
8:47 am

(ir)Rational — We drew Benfica for the UCL quarterfinals. Who did Arsenal draw?

(ir)Rational

March 19th, 2012
8:48 am

Yeah, Jm, cause the problems people have with MARTA comes from the fact that the trains have to have drivers. :roll:

(ir)Rational

March 19th, 2012
8:49 am

Kam – Good luck with that game. And good luck next season, oh, wait. Are y’all going to be in next season?

JamVet

March 19th, 2012
8:50 am

Compared to IL, you guys are still playing “A” ball down here.

What part of ranking dead last in the nation eludes you, JKL2? What part of scoring 49 out of 100 is so difficult to grasp? What part of Georgia scoring at or near the bottom in a number of categories is rocket science?

…president because of the color of his skin…

Perhaps you and 71 should start your own White Men Only blog where you can post endless racial superiority conspiracies?

USinUK - missing the dogwoods ... not the pollen count ...

March 19th, 2012
8:51 am

“All those transit advantages are going to disappear in 10 years”

okay, I gotta ask …

as we start on the downhill slide after peak oil, why would the transit advantages DISAPPEAR??? seems to me that they will be magnified (and, in fact, with high global gas prices, they’re magnified, not disappearing)

Peadawg

March 19th, 2012
8:52 am

“Of course, this can not be linked in any way to our president because of the color of his skin…”

What does Obama and his skin color have to do w/ Georgia being ethically challenged?

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 19th, 2012
8:52 am

Are y’all going to be in next season?

I’m thinking — yes. We’ve gone unbeaten since RA sacked A V-B. Hell, if that’s all it took,
Abramovich shoulda fired Villas-Boas months ago.

Big EPL game Wed. against Man. City.

USinUK - missing the dogwoods ... not the pollen count ...

March 19th, 2012
8:53 am

(ir) 8:40 – I hear ya – when I lived in Atlanta, I lived IN Atlanta for just that reason – hopped the train to the Capitol (where I worked) … no muss, no fuss …

(ir)Rational

March 19th, 2012
8:53 am

USinUK – Cause, all them there blacks and Muslims are going to escape from London and take over the suburbs. :roll:

Jay

March 19th, 2012
8:54 am

sfd, if the blogger you’re describing is the one I’m thinking of, he was banned a long time ago.

(ir)Rational

March 19th, 2012
8:55 am

Kam – I would say good luck with that, but unless Tottenham slips or Man. City slips worse, I think y’all getting in means us not getting in, so I don’t support that idea.

USMC

March 19th, 2012
8:56 am

A lesson for most of you Socialist: “Honesty/Integrity”

Supermodel Elle Macpherson Loves Obama: ‘I’m Socialist – What Do You Expect?’
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/03/17/elle-macpherson-loves-obama-i-m-socialist-what-do-you-expect

I respect Elle for being honest(and a knockout) and many of you Liberal blogheads could take a lesson from Elle about being honest about your beliefs; that goes for you too Jay.

Honesty is the best policy. Now go out and have a happy and productive day! :-)

Paul

March 19th, 2012
8:56 am

Brosephus™ - Prima Donna since 3/16/2012

March 19th, 2012
8:57 am

If metro Atlanta is to succeed in modernizing its transportation system, transit has to become a symbol of and a producer of regional unity, rather than a proxy for divisiveness and conflict created elsewhere.

One has to want metro Atlanta to have a public transportation system in the first place in order to want it to succeed. Many a conservative has stated how much of a boondoggle public transit is, so don’t hold your breath on some of them every wanting it to be successful. The only way for Atlanta to have a viable public transportation system is to change the conservative mentality on transportation, and I don’t foresee that happening in Georgia anytime in the near or distant future.

[...] Atlanta’s transit system (MARTA) “has long served as the unfortunate battleground on which unrelated conflicts — urban vs. suburban and rural, Democratic vs. Republican, black vs. white, rich vs. poor, traditional vs. modern — have been fought out.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog post) [...]

Paul

March 19th, 2012
8:59 am

“, legislators refuse to abolish it altogether not because it serves a purpose, but because of the control it gives them over MARTA officials.”

“rural and suburban legislators don’t want MARTA competing against their own local projects for money. ”

There it is, again. When something seems illogical, petty, unreasonable and without any constructive reason, it always gets back to Money an Power.

Guy Incognito (not just another Guy)

March 19th, 2012
8:59 am

I remember a local television station having a contest between a person driving a car downtown to work, versus a person taking MARTA to the same location.

The car won by almost, if not over 30 minutes…..oh and nobody went through the car begging for $$$

I remember

March 19th, 2012
9:01 am

For the liberals like Jay, it always comes down to give us YOUR money or you’re not being “fair”.

Paul

March 19th, 2012
9:03 am

USMC

There’s a one-word polite, yest succinct, response to the implication that because a supporter is socialist, the candidate must also be socialist.

FAIL.

It’s be like a noted personality saying “I’m for Santorum. I’m a religious zealot racist, what do you expect?”

USinUK - missing the dogwoods ... not the pollen count ...

March 19th, 2012
9:03 am

ooooooooooo … newsbusters … quoting a HoStern program …

what next?

Geraldo Rivera quoting the National Inquirer???

Brosephus™

March 19th, 2012
9:04 am

Wow… Didn’t have to read but the first page to verify my opinion. Some conservative knee jerk reactions to certain words is more predictable than Ol’ Faithful.

Jm

March 19th, 2012
9:05 am

Usinuk 8:51
I said the advantages you cited (being able to be productive while commuting) will disappear

You didn’t mention fuel cost

Now, trains have a minor fuel cost advantage

But if cars meet obama’s cafe standards, the ” fuel ” advantage of trains will disappear too

Brosephus™

March 19th, 2012
9:05 am

What does Obama and his skin color have to do w/ Georgia being ethically challenged?

You don’t realize the all powerful abilities of “The Melanin”??? :)

USinUK - missing the dogwoods ... not the pollen count ...

March 19th, 2012
9:06 am

“I said the advantages you cited (being able to be productive while commuting) will disappear”

how’s that?

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 19th, 2012
9:07 am

An Australian national living in London wants Obama to be president and that sparks poutrage?

Desperation.

USinUK - missing the dogwoods ... not the pollen count ...

March 19th, 2012
9:07 am

Brocephus – 9:05 – all I can say is that I’m a lot easier to find in the dark … the powerful advantages of a LACK of “The Melanin” ;-)

(ir)Rational

March 19th, 2012
9:08 am

I realize this has probably been discussed at length in the committee meetings and what not, but I’m not sure I’ve seen it discussed here. While I remain a fan of public transportation, and wish it could be expanded to make it more convenient to the entire metro area, I’m not convinced there is the required population density in Metro Atlanta to make it work. When you’re driving down I-75 or I-85 in the morning, that argument might sound ridiculous, but if you think about all the different areas those people came from, it really isn’t. I’m not even sure that the City of Atlanta has the population density to support MARTA as it currently exists, which is one reason, I’m sure, that it has to receive so much support from sales taxes. I’m sure there are better experts than me around, on this blog and elsewhere, but think about the last time you saw a full bus or train (except for heading to or leaving an event) running around Atlanta. Then, those of you that have been to places like New York, DC, London or Paris think back to if you ever saw trains as empty as ours are. If all of Metro Atlanta’s citizens lived in a single urban area, we would have, by necessity, a great transit system (I think). As it is, we have the legislature proposing these taxes to pay for a transit system that might not even come to our little suburban are, and will therefore make little to no difference to our daily lives. Just my $0.02 on the actual issue at hand here.

Paul

March 19th, 2012
9:09 am

Brosephus

Besides that, she glows!

;-)

TaxPayer

March 19th, 2012
9:09 am

I remember a local television station having a contest between a person driving a car downtown to work, versus a person taking MARTA to the same location.

The car won by almost, if not over 30 minutes…..oh and nobody went through the car begging for $$$

I remember a person walking beating a car by MORE than 30 minutes. Of course the person walking was begging for $$$. I hope that didn’t make any sense because it sure wasn’t meant to.

Brosephus™

March 19th, 2012
9:09 am

An Australian national living in London wants Obama to be president and that sparks poutrage?

Desperation.

On the opposite side of that keyboard, it actually passes for logic. That’s what worries me.

Brosephus™

March 19th, 2012
9:10 am

Jm

March 19th, 2012
9:10 am

There is no agency or position with the vested power and oversight to make regional transit work in Atlanta

Jay

March 19th, 2012
9:10 am

USMC has the hots for a socialist; ergo, he must be a socialist.

(But of course, he would never be honest enough to admit it.)

MiltonMan

March 19th, 2012
9:11 am

JamVet alluding to a “report” that lists Georgia as the most corruptable state. The same “report” lists New Jersey as the least corruptable state. New Jersey had 40+ politicians arrested in a 2009 FBI sting.

Yes, a real reliable source there JamVet.

carlosgvv

March 19th, 2012
9:12 am

Brosephus – 8:57 “and I don’t forsee that happening in Georgia anytime in the near or distant future”

Truer words were never spoken, unfortunately. The conservative mentality rules Georgia with an iron fist and seems to be fastened to the majority with some kind of emotional superglue.

Doggone/GA

March 19th, 2012
9:13 am

Bro – “On the opposite side of that keyboard, it actually passes for logic. That’s what worries me”

Are you familiar with PEBCAK?

USinUK - missing the dogwoods ... not the pollen count ...

March 19th, 2012
9:15 am

Paul!!! how’s tricks??

tell the lovely Mrs Paul I said hello :-)

N-GA

March 19th, 2012
9:16 am

I suspect that MARTA would prevail in a Federal court challenge to the state’s restrictions.

USinUK - missing the dogwoods ... not the pollen count ...

March 19th, 2012
9:16 am

“New Jersey had 40+ politicians arrested in a 2009 FBI sting.”

well, there ya go … all the corrupt ones are in jail.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 19th, 2012
9:16 am

USMC has the hots for a socialist; ergo, he must be a socialist.

I got the hots for Sarah Shahi.

Does that mean I’m an Iranian-Mexican from Texas?

JamVet

March 19th, 2012
9:20 am

Milton, good job at dismantling the data therein. Carefully analyzing why it is faulty and where the mistakes were made. Also, kudos on providing other rankings that countermand those and prove them erroneous.

Oh that’s right. That’s not what you faux conservatives do.

You have no intelligent rebuttals so you just discount the information provided out of hand and then occasionally toss in a red herring or two.

Otay…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnTmBjk-M0c

USinUK - missing the dogwoods ... not the pollen count ...

March 19th, 2012
9:20 am

Kam – 9:16 – she rocked in “Life”

Paul

March 19th, 2012
9:22 am

USinUK

Busy busy busy with the occasional travel tossed in. Been a slew of family birthday parties.

It’s all good.

She says “HI!” back and wants to know when we’re returning to England.

JKL2

March 19th, 2012
9:23 am

stands- are you the same “JKL” who had (maybe a year or so back, in Bookman’s comments pages) sung the praises of Timothy McVeigh

Terrorist idiot who took too long to die. No, I don’t think that was me. Good thing he wasn’t tried in IL as Gov Ryan got rid of the death penalty before he went to jail. I would like to know what idiot Eric Holder(can we agree to get rid of this clown?) is doing about the Muslim terrorist from the Ft Hood shootings? This guy in Afghanistan will be dead before he even comes to trial. Suing AA for doing his job is more important than punishing someone killing Soldiers.

My comment wasn’t a deflection as it was a reply (which was actually another reply from jamvet earlier). From what I can tell, Jay could be right on this one. I don’t pay taxes here and would never use MARTA, so I don’t have a dog in the fight.

USinUK - missing the dogwoods ... not the pollen count ...

March 19th, 2012
9:24 am

I’ve found a few new pubs for us to try next time you’re here :-)

Paul

March 19th, 2012
9:24 am

N-GA

G’morning. You’ve been missed.

Kamchak

It means you eat some mighty good food!

USinUK - missing the dogwoods ... not the pollen count ...

March 19th, 2012
9:25 am

JKL – “Terrorist idiot who took too long to die. ” good description.

Paul

March 19th, 2012
9:25 am

USinUK

And sumpin’ tells me you’ll keep scouting them out ’till we arrive -

Jm

March 19th, 2012
9:27 am

Usinuk

See google success at making cars drive themselves silly

In 10 years or earlier you’ll be able to blog from behind the wheel (safely I might add, since a couple of liberals here already blog from behind the wheel)

JKL2

March 19th, 2012
9:27 am

-Suing AA

AZ, sorry