Was Chipper Jones’ batting music a talisman of the future?
Those with working ears and short-term memory cells may recall the Braves slugger approached the plate with Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Crazy Train’ blaring.
Now, there’s talk afoot of a Maglev (floating magnetic train) line to Turner Field from the Georgia State MARTA station. My pals at MyAJC have a story with the details, which you can read free today.
As a fan of baseball and pretty much anything that appear to float magically, I think the idea is very cool, but the part of me that I sometimes refer to as my “brain” thinks it would become an economic albatross.
As a young man, I visited various cities and was enamored with public transportation. New York, D.C., Boston, Chicago, Madrid, all had pretty sweet subway systems. Madrid and D.C. were especially nice because you could walk great distances in those cities and not feel like you are fixin’ to become a hood ornament.
Seattle had a cool bus system, and it was free from what I recall, in the downtown area. They have a monorail, which was not very long but probably did spur development along its path. I stayed with friends who had an apartment in a high-rise that had windows overlooking the monorail. Voyeurs would have really liked that view.
The proposed Atlanta Maglev would cost an estimated $30 million, but I’d be surprised if it hit that target. Maglev, despite 20 years of trying, has never launched train service in the U.S.
The Braves are all for it and would pitch in $500,000 per year to subsidize operations. The owner of the local nine, Liberty Media, has deep pockets (market cap of $17 billion) and could probably swing that.
The proposed line would take 18 months to complete. Each train would transport 250 people to the stadium in a mere 90 seconds. Recalling some of my long walks from the downtown AJC offices to Turner Field, that seems like a miracle.
The Braves shuttle, operated by MARTA, delivered 128,732 passengers to games in 2012.
What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea?
How does this compare to the streetcar project?
Here are my thoughts: