The two faces of metro Atlanta’s transportation sales tax

When it comes to salesmanship, there’s not much to separate politics from a vacuum cleaner, denture cream or light beer.

A good product is always convenient — though not altogether necessary. More important is the confident face that closes the sale.

For months, supporters of next year’s transportation sales tax referendum in metro Atlanta have wondered who will be the public personalities behind a multimillion dollar push for the 10-year tax.

Two metro leaders, one Republican and the other Democratic, may have just been drafted — by the Legislature’s decision last month not to move the vote from the July 31 primary.

In the 10-county area that makes up the new metro Atlanta tax region, the heads of eight county commissions will be up for re-election in 2012.

But only in Cobb and DeKalb counties have the fortunes of the T-SPLOST been tied to the political futures of specific individuals.

Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee/AJC file

Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee/AJC file

In Cobb, County Commission Chairman Tim Lee has picked up a GOP primary challenge from former chairman Bill Byrne, generated by Lee’s participation in the negotiations that will produce a final list of $6 billion in road and rail projects by mid-October.

“I was put in this position. I didn’t select to be in this position. The [state] legislators wrote me into this process, and I’m now having to deal with it,” Lee said in an interview Wednesday.

The big issue in Cobb is commuter rail. Some critics of the T-SPLOST package argue that a 10-mile rail extension from downtown Atlanta, across the Chattahoochee River and one mile into Cobb’s Cumberland area is too little. Others argue against the need for rail altogether.

Lee has eight days to decide whether to push for any Cobb change to the T-SPLOST list. Only after the final list is compiled on Oct. 15 will he decide whether to endorse the final product. But he confessed a certain inevitability.

“Whether I’m promoting it or not, I am going to be tied to it by the mere fact that I’m on the [Atlanta Regional Transportation] Roundtable and part of the process,” Lee said. “So if I’m going to be tied to it, I might as well help guide the opinion that folks have.”

Byrne, who left the Cobb chairmanship in 2002 to run for governor, said he’ll crank up his campaign to retake the office in January, challenging the constitutionality of a law that could require the collection of a sales tax within the entire 10-county region — even if Cobb voters turn it down.

“It will be the powerful, big-money people against the little folk,” he said.

Marietta Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin has been mentioned as a third GOP candidate, but his candidacy sounds unlikely. “Right now, I’ve got my options open, but I’m loving my job as mayor,” he said.

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis/AJC file

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis/AJC file

In DeKalb, County CEO Burrell Ellis may also be thrust into the role of reluctant champion of the transportation sales tax. While in the middle of a Democratic primary that determines whether he should keep his job.

But in DeKalb, there’s no hesitancy over whether commuter rail is needed.

“I’m not pleased at all where we have come out on the transit piece. There are certain pockets of the region that are just absent — and that is the south and southeastern part of the region,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May, a Democrat who represents south DeKalb — and is thinking about a run against Ellis for CEO.

“I’m very concerned about the direction of the county,” May said. “I’m giving it some consideration.”

More immediately, May said he’s troubled by the lack of funding on the T-SPLOST list for an eastward MARTA line along I-20.

“The political dynamic is, if DeKalb County doesn’t overwhelmingly support this T-SPLOST, the thing will not pass,” May said. “As it stands now, with the absence of the I-20 rail project, it will fail miserably in DeKalb County. Which means the kiss of death for the T-SPLOST in the 10-county region.”

Early objections from DeKalb have resulted in $225 million toward an I-20 route. May says that’s not enough. But Ellis says it may have to do.

“I’ve said all along — let’s erase the jurisdictional boundaries, and let’s look at the traffic patterns. Let’s look at where the highest concentrations of people are, and let’s look where the employment centers are,” Ellis said.

Money currently allotted for the I-20 route might be enough, with some leveraged federal dollars, for light rail — or a bus rapid transit arm, the county CEO said.

But Ellis is prepared to argue that DeKalb County does pretty well under the current T-SPLOST list. MARTA, which DeKalb has helped fund for three decades, is fortified. A new rail line from MARTA’s Lindbergh Center station to the Clifton Corridor and Emory University area is a route with national significance — and a pathway to jobs for residents of south DeKalb, Ellis said.

“I don’t think we ought to throw the baby out with the bath water,” Eillis said. “What’s on the table right now, given the resources we have available, is smart.”

Like Cobb County’s Lee, Ellis said he’ll wait for the final list. But also like Lee, Ellis indicated he’ll probably end up betting his political career on the T-SPLOST vote.

“I think you’re going to have to have some visionaries who are willing to take some risks in order to see the region advance,” he said.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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68 comments Add your comment

Ga Values

September 21st, 2011
6:39 pm

How many $ BILLIONS will be thrown away due to MARTA’s mismanagement and CORRUPTION?

Mike H.

September 21st, 2011
6:44 pm

The tax referendum is toast right now. How much money will be allocated for Gwinnett’s bus “Transit” system? $100 bonus to the first person who can verify that they have seen more than three people on any one bus. Great use of taxpayer-dollars, I say.

Merry-Go-Round

September 21st, 2011
6:51 pm

Am I to believe that there will be a portion of the collected tax to be used for the “Oval Tract” that is entirely enclosed within the Atlanta City Limits? I believe it is loosely called the “Beltline.” I would reference it as the Atlanta “WasteLine” as it would benefit not one person in North Fulton County or any of the core metro counties. What is the purpose of having others pay for a “transit system” (?) that benefits only a few?

mehlman rings twice

September 21st, 2011
6:53 pm

How many billions of dollars will be thrown away to engineering firms, contractors, land speculators, etc. who then turn around and pad the campaign coffers of polititians who will keep this going for eternity?

Sylvia

September 21st, 2011
7:23 pm

MARTA management is the problem. Period.

Andy

September 21st, 2011
7:55 pm

I would suggest Mr. Tim Lee begin to prepare his resume. Between the TSPLOST, the property tax increase and the water hike he has made his bed and now must lie in it. It does not matter how much the Cobb Chamber has, they simply do not have the votes to win this one. Lee will pay the price for them.

The people/voters will rule the day on this one. Per Mr. Lee’s complaint he was forced to be on the board, never once did I hear him object when the legislation was being pushed.

Ol' Timer

September 21st, 2011
8:30 pm

Some of these ol’ boys are so behind the times and out of date in their thinking that they think all we need to alleviate the horrendous traffic problems in the metro is to add a few more stage coaches to the line.

Giddy-Up!

Jackie

September 21st, 2011
8:48 pm

TSPLOST is dead inCobb County. Cobb commuters just don’t care about light rail to the city. It does not solve the traffic problems they face every day.

the one who knows

September 21st, 2011
9:12 pm

they are all crooks on the take.

The Ghost of Lester Maddox

September 21st, 2011
9:26 pm

I sure hope the voters don’t vote the tax down, after all…..MARTA employees need to keep up their gym memberships and spa treatments….and God forbid they should pay for those perks out of their own pockets.

TruthBe

September 21st, 2011
10:57 pm

NO NEW TAXES FOR ANY REASONS PERIOD. LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS.

YeahRight

September 21st, 2011
11:04 pm

For the Beltline naysayers: So when you get into Atlanta on some sort of transit… how are you going to get to your destination? The Beltline lets you get places, not just to 5 Points!
It fits into the ARC regional transportation plan, and is a part of a planned future network of light rail systems that will allow people to reduce their dependency on automobiles and imported oil.
If you think a portion of the TSPLOST money spend on a small piece of the Beltline doesn’t serve you well – alternative transportation has to all start somewhere. The Beltline is a project that exists, and is being built, not something that has to be created. It is easier, and more cost efficent to build on something that is already in progress than starting anew.
No sane person thinks a light rail system that goes from Kennesaw to Cumberland Mall would get much ridership… but make that line continue into the city …. and you open up all sorts of possibilities.

Besides, do you think the folks in Atlanta really like subsidizing sprawl generating road widening projects outside of town? Really???? So why should they just think the TSPLOST should be all about roads? We have enough extra-wide roads and exhaust belching behemouths in town. We need clean air and healthy life styles – not untold wasted hours sitting behind the wheel!

The interstate highway system wasn’t built all at once – it took many years, with pieces being constructed and spliced together. We have something sorta nice now – however crowded. That’s how all transportation systems are built, so you have to look into the future, and a bigger picture than your local neighborhood. Localized thinking does not solve regional issues – it makes them worse.
Building more roads will never solve congestion – and is guaranteed to create more pollution.

Roads, by the way, are seriously subsidized by everyone’s taxes – why not give the public some alternatives for their money?

YeahRight

September 21st, 2011
11:09 pm

Yeah, everyone should live within their means – and pay for what they use….
So for gasoline to be priced fairly to pay for the total cost of roads – it would be $10-12/gallon…
We need to stop subsidizing roads!

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

September 21st, 2011
11:18 pm

“The big issue in Cobb is commuter rail. Some critics of the T-SPLOST package argue that a 10-mile rail extension from downtown Atlanta, across the Chattahoochee River and one mile into Cobb’s Cumberland area is too little. Others argue against the need for rail altogether.”

The rail line that is being proposed to run from the MARTA Arts Center Station to the Cumberland/Galleria is NOT a commuter rail line, it is a LIGHT RAIL line. There is a marked difference between light rail and commuter rail, they are NOT one in the same, please do NOT confuse them as there is already enough ignorance about different modes of transportation in the Atlanta Region.

The proposed Midtown-to-Cumberland light rail has become such a lightning rod because it revives and advances an unpopular proposal to run light rail trains up through an aging automobile-oriented development-dominated corridor along Cobb Parkway as opposed to running commuter rail luxury liners on the existing CSX tracks that parallel the gridlocked I-75 corridor that run right by the Cumberland Mall area via Vinings on the way to Smyrna, Marietta, Kennesaw, Acworth (and Woodstock, Holly Springs, Canton via the existing Georgia Northeastern Railroad tracks north from Marietta that parallel the gridlocked I-575 corridor).

The refusal to consider a larger COMMUTER RAIL plan that encompasses the ENTIRE I-75/575 corridor along existing rail infrastructure combined with simple road improvements to US 41/Cobb Parkway, Windy Hill Road, South Cobb Drive & East-West Connector is the reason why the upcoming T-SPLOST proposal will go down in flames in Cobb County.

Heck, the $856.5 million-plus that it will take to construct the light rail line that will only run one mile into the county to a sagging Galleria Mall could be used to widen every major roadway in the county and implement COMMUTER RAIL on the existing CSX tracks at less cost than that one line and there would still be plenty of money leftover to spare.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

September 21st, 2011
11:24 pm

Commuter rail service on the existing CSX tracks that span the entire distance of the county from Vinings to Acworth combined with the widening of US 41/Cobb Parkway from four to six lanes would be a HELLUVA LOT MORE effective at alleviating congestion off of Interstate 75 than a $856.5 million-plus light rail line that would only run one mile into the county in its initial stage.

Laurie

September 21st, 2011
11:42 pm

how about a 5 year tax instead of 10? Don’t trust anyone in office or the GDOT to give them a 10 year tax.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

September 22nd, 2011
12:32 am

The transit proponent of transportation in the Atlanta Region does NOT even have to be financed with tax dollars.

Transit (light rail, heavy rail, commuter rail, buses, etc) can and should be financed with bonds paid back with adequately-priced fares as opposed to be being heavily dependent solely upon sales and property taxes inadequately-priced rockbottom low fares only.

Transit, if properly and competently managed, can and should pay for itself, seeing as though people have to pay fares into the system to use it and that it can recoup its money through fares.

Local surface roads and FREEways that cannot charge tolls to help pay for their construction and operation should be paid and financed with taxes.

bug

September 22nd, 2011
3:12 am

Again, I see nothing on 25% of this tax going into the counties general fund. Why don’t you tell the people the whole truth?

Road Scholar

September 22nd, 2011
6:36 am

“How many billions of dollars will be thrown away to engineering firms, contractors, land speculators, etc. who then turn around and pad the campaign coffers of polititians who will keep this going for eternity?”

And how do you expect the projects to be designed and built? Thrown away?

For those who say the politicians are crooked, where is your proof? Not just your opinion, but proof that will stand up in a court of law?

Those against commuter rail only extending north to Cumberland, do you know that the Interstates were built in stages? And they weren’t built to their present laneage? Progress comes in stages. And when the cost of gas goes up won’t you complain (and whine) about it and not having an alternative means to travel? With roads the price of land and construction is huge for expansion. With transit, esp rail, you just add more railcars or reduce the interval between trains/buses!

Bug: I think the % is 15 not 25. But you are right. No mention at public meetings about what/how the 15% will be used for!

Finally, how do the naysayers expect transportation improvements to be implemented and paid for? Or do you want to continue to sit in traffic and breathe bad air the rest of your shortened life?

John

September 22nd, 2011
7:28 am

Two words: GA 400. Who would vote for a penny tax when when the State lied about removing the tolls. They will lie about removing the tax too.

John

September 22nd, 2011
7:28 am

Two words: GA 400. Who would vote for a penny tax when when the State lied about removing the tolls. They will lie about removing the tax too.

Please look carefully at these spending proposals

September 22nd, 2011
7:46 am

The idea that the beltway will be a commuter line is patently absurd. I have lived in midtown Atlanta for over 30 years. Because of the nature of my business, I have worked throughout the Atlanta region and have interacted with people who commute between every point on the map.

The beltway is crazy expensive and will suffer huge cost overruns. The wheeling and dealing in land purchases have been well documented, and no sane person would expect that to cease. The money already allocated to the permanent staff — currently 75, I believe — has been overspent by a large percentage. The Beltway is simply a vanity project for a small subset of intown residents. It goes nowhere and would have few riders other than tourists and weekend visitors from the suburbs.

honested

September 22nd, 2011
8:19 am

Sure would be nice if these two and all the other ’salesmen’ were honest enough to stand up and send this defective bill back to the General Assembly in exchange for a REAL North Georgia Transit Bill.

That so many of the ‘projects’ have turned into road improvements that should already be covered by fuel taxes (that need to be raised) is shameful. Building 20th century rapid transit to actually connect municipalities around North Georgia should have been consistently occurring for the last 20 years. Patching up a few intersections and adding a lane here and there will not ameliorate the negligence of ‘leaders’ in the ‘villes’ for the last quarter century.

Send this back to the General Assembly, remind them what is necessary and see if they have the gumption to do the right thing on the second try.

Why is it we in the South are content to hold down last place as a Civilized portion of the United States.

honested

September 22nd, 2011
8:21 am

Of course, a new bill could allow for additional financing from the huge amount of commerce generated by the empty 4 lanes built throughout south GA during sonny’s absent reign.

Just a tidbit for those who wonder where the DOT money disappeared to over the last decade.

red light redistrict

September 22nd, 2011
8:52 am

Any tranportation problem we have is only unaffordable because a child-monkey named W led Atlanta, and the world, into this socially-divisive double-dip recession which is further dividing the haves from the half-wits. Spain and France used the centuries to show the world how to bankrupt a nation with war for war’s sake. Any media-spun military-industrial ideology can get the easily-hyped citizens of any revisionist-educated country to support a war. You only need to create national characters like Christopher Columbus, George Washington, and Aaron Burr and then threaten your children until they learn how to spell those names. Our educators would have us believe that those three guys are heros. In truth, they were the three worst presidents we ever had. Schoolkids everywhere have been taught nonsense in a generation-wide conspiracy to form new soldiers for new wars in an unending supply of cannon fodder for the Saudi Military Machine.

And that’s just a natural born fact. They say nothing really changed after 911. Really? W cut and run from Saudi Arabia. Osama wanted W to take our troops out, and the coward monkey-child named W did.

I’d call that change.

TSPLOST on wrong track

September 22nd, 2011
9:13 am

Why risk killing TSPLOST for one MARTA project on Cobb’s project list?

The Art Center to Cumberland light rail will trash the dreams of a whole region. Cut the project.

Buck Mulligan

September 22nd, 2011
9:18 am

For years I’ve listened to those Cobb and Cherokee people whine about their “hard earned tax dollars” going to other places in the metro area. Now they want me to tax myself to build them roads? Let ‘em build their own darned roads.

Jennifer G.

September 22nd, 2011
9:19 am

@Mike H.: My husband rides the bus, usually out of Buford. He rode the one that leaves from Discover Mills last week and said it was “standing room only.” People do use the Gwinnett County buses.

[...] For the first time since the formation of MARTA in the late 1960′s, the Atlanta region is being asked to think as a region.  And that may prove to be a challenge.  The transportation project list is being drawn up by our political leadership, and this appears to be proving difficult.  Political careers on are on the line. [...]

YeahRight

September 22nd, 2011
9:35 am

If we keep wanting all our tax money to be spent upon ourselves, totally in our local community, we’ll NEVER solve regional issues. It will be impossible.
However….
The totally local approach does work if you only work in your house you built with your own trees, and work only for yourself, providing services only to yourself, raising your own food, drawing your own water, generating your own power, and providing all those necessities of life to yourself, from your own resources on your own property, using absolutely nothing, ever, from outside sources. It works if you never use anything outside your property or ever go anywhere. Realistic? Sure, that’s how many people see themselves – and it is not possible to exist in our society in that manner.
How many government jurisdictions are totally self contained? Do all your residents do everything in your municipality? How many live, shop and work totally in your county/town?
That’s why a REGIONAL approach to these issues is necessary.
Personally, if I had it my way, there would be very, very little money spent on roads in the TSPLOST. Several counties have SPLOSTed many miles of nice wide roadways, and it hasn’t helped (Sorry Cobb… you have some very nice roads, but you’re the poster child on that one).
Widening roads only temporarily solved local transportation issues, but did nothing for connections to other areas in the region. Now, those roads are jammed again, and what are we proposing? Yeah… make ‘em even wider (and so on… and so on….)
The problem is that there are no viable regional transportation options in this area besides automobiles.(at least for most folks). Without alternatives, people don’t have a choice, people can’t behave efficiently, and when a crisis comes to that mode of transportation – things get really bad.
That’s why a regional solution is necessary….
OK…. soapbox off….

BobT

September 22nd, 2011
9:43 am

just vote NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Doug A.

September 22nd, 2011
9:46 am

Jim, it’s Light Rail, not Commuter Rail. There’s a BIG difference between them.

November 6, 2012

September 22nd, 2011
9:57 am

Our state, counties and municipalities are throwing money down the drain trying to get TSPLOST passed. Folks, it’s dead, ain’t no way it’s gonna pass, anywhere. Number One, a good portion of the money generated by a 1% tax would be wasted by our less than candid politicians, and Number Two, we cannot trust our less than candid politicians when they say, “It’s only for ten years”. Number Three, we don’t need to throw any more money into that “Bottomless Pit” called MARTA. Cobb and Gwinnett, you don’t want it, trust me.

td

September 22nd, 2011
10:02 am

Who says we (the silent majority of the state) wants all this new transit for growth? I think the metro Atlanta area is populated enough. We do not have a long term water solution to support more growth. Push growth to the southern part of the state.

Gwinnett & Cobb r armpits of GA

September 22nd, 2011
11:02 am

Merry Go round, you probably have never ridden mass transit in your life and probably take a scooter to the refrigerator. I live in Buckhead and have no doubt that the entire city would utilize the Beltline. NOT just the south side of the city. I as well as my friends and neighbors would take it every chance we get. CARS ARE THE PROBLEM. TRY something different. NO MORE ROADS. NO more stupid parkways and subdivisions and strip malls and GIANT Wal-Marts and Auto zones PLEASE! I’ll VOTE YES

Gwinnett & Cobb r armpits of GA

September 22nd, 2011
11:09 am

I’m tired of paying for Cherokee and Cobb and Henry county to drive on our roads and use our infrastructure and police just for them to drive back out to their Bedroom communities of fat people with diabetes, large cokes, golden corrals, sweat pants, and gas stations.

nathan

September 22nd, 2011
11:27 am

@ Will the last Democrat…

RIGHT ON! Please consider taking over the ARC, you’ve got my vote!

Paddy O

September 22nd, 2011
11:30 am

the beauty of this TSPLOST vote is the rest of GA is not stuck with the stupidity & arrogance, plus ignorance, of the citizens of the Atlanta Metro Area. If you guys boot this, and the rest of the state passes it, then the rest of the state benefits & hopefully more jobs move out of this area.

Paddy O

September 22nd, 2011
11:31 am

Gwinnett – yeah, that is reality. YOU are paying so much for it – please tell us YOUR income and what YOU paid in taxes last year, and see if you get any sympathy.

Paddy O

September 22nd, 2011
11:32 am

also, all you no voters, when you gripe about the unemployment rate, remember you cut your nose off in spite of your face.

Brandon

September 22nd, 2011
11:34 am

I am confused as to why the ARC is do determined to pass this T Splost. I am curious to see what government could do without the use of splost. I have seen millions of dollars of splost go to just repave the roads after they are built. The splost is nothing but a slush fund that government officials rely on because they can’t live within their means. How is all this infrastructure going to be maintained throughout its years. IT WON”T. We need visionaries who see to globalized world and that means if they want to pass this thing I would be ok with it if the ARC gave at least $100 million to the ports authority to deepen the Savannah Harbor. This deepening is the future of GA. The container size will double with post panamex ships to 12,000 containers per ship. Traffic is Traffic. It has nothing to do with the roads, minus a few engineering blunders, and has everything to do with just basic population growth. They are going to pass this thing and then bond a huge portion of the proceeds to get a large sum up front and it won’t be shovel ready costing the taxpayers thousands in interest. We need sustainable growth by means of revenue producting activities which can be blanketed from the State all over Georgia. You can’t build rails etc in hopes of being able to maintain that infrastructure. We have been down that road before. No pun intented.

MrLiberty

September 22nd, 2011
12:07 pm

We might lose Burrell Ellis and the SPLOST might likely fail. Awesome! Best news I have heard all day.

aps

September 22nd, 2011
12:16 pm

I would like to know where all the gasoline tax on one gallon of gas are spent. Isn’t infrastructure construction and maintenance the reason for this tax?

Alabama Communist

September 22nd, 2011
12:21 pm

More Breaking News On Massive County Sales Tax For RoadRunners……A unknown Spokesperson for ” Moving Fast Though Cobb” said the idea of a 10 county road tax is perfect for Sissy local political county Republican leaders to hid behind because it forces them to be two face like most Republican leaders

Josh

September 22nd, 2011
12:24 pm

I think the Atlanta region needs the increased transportation development, but I’m disappointed because this tax will NEVER pass. Too much of it is spent on transit instead of roads, and most of the voters in the region do not use transit. Sadly, this is a huge waste of time because the politicians forgot about us voters.

Bryan -- MARTA supporter

September 22nd, 2011
1:06 pm

This needs to pass bottom line. Too many of y’all are thinking locally and not regionally. So scared of change that you’d rather complain about traffic while you sit to yourself in your car then have the option of taking a train to your destination, even if just to a park and ride lot near your home. Cobb and Gwinnett think they are too good for MARTA but both have terrible transit systems THAT STILL CONNECT to Atlanta and MARTA! The same folks y’all are scared of that will take the MARTA bus and train into your areas and steal from you can just take the MARTA bus and train and transfer to Cobb’s CCT or Gwinnett’s GCT and steal from you.

The surrounding area doesn’t want to pay taxes for transit but want your roads paid for, right? We have to make our fair high enough to cover operations so you make your gas high enough that it’s not mostly taxes for roads. That would be what… 10 maybe 15 bucks per gallon.

Stop comming into Fulton or Dekalb and tearing our infastructure up with your cars and not helping pay. Using MARTA to commute in but then don’t want to pay. I would even go as far as saying pay for what you use. Most use the train so pay a 1/2 cent tax. It will go to extending only MARTA rail there. That’s what most would want anyway since they don’t want the big bad MARTA buses!

You even hear the argument that they don’t want to pay the tax because it probably will go past the 10 years. Hears a thought, stop voting the same Tea Partiers into office for them to keep doing the same things. This is a RED state incase you have forgotten. Every election though when a Democrate runs they are put down and talked about and never elected.

You reap what you sow. Keep being anti-transit and non-Democratic. Let keep widening roads, which doesn’t work clearly, and voting the same kind of people into office, which the same folks that voted them in complain about them then go right back and vote for them or someone with the same ideas. Lets see how far metro Atlanta gets and how much we are going to lose!

November 6, 2012

September 22nd, 2011
1:44 pm

@Bryan — MARTA supporter

September 22nd, 2011
1:06 pm

You still haven’t answered my question – What MARTA department is paying you?

Mr. KnowitAll

September 22nd, 2011
1:49 pm

For all the folks wondering what the big deal is about the Beltline—simply–it is a TAXPAYER PAID infrastructure for developers and builders to make a killing on the Beltline skyrocketing property values, retail space and condos that will spring up around it. —-pure and simple.

It’s all a money hoax, folks.

Bryan -- MARTA supporter

September 22nd, 2011
3:00 pm

@November 6, 2012

September 22nd, 2011
1:44 pm

I did. None! Sorry if I’m just an educated young person that wants Atlanta to succeed and know the importance of having an efficient transit system.

Now the question is what backwards thinking Tea Party organization do you lobby for? I’m sure it’s one that nows nothing about the benefits of transit in a major metropolitan area like Atlanta and probably not even in the core. Probably in some run down rural county that doesn’t even matter to the success of a major area like this.

MARTA Rida

September 22nd, 2011
3:15 pm

CSX will not allow commuter rail on the same line as frieght rail, thats why light rail is pruposed for the Cobb Line. The BeltLine is a great project that will help the entire region since it will move people around the inner core of atlanta. Ever wonder why the 3 biggest employment centers are close to MARTA? Because businesses want to give their employees and customers the option of taking MARTA. I ride MARTA everyday and purposely do not drive to Cobb or Gwinnett counties because I do not want to suport an area that does not support MARTA and every Olive Garden is the same. Vote YES and extend transit into the suburbs so those poor car-dependant people will stop complaining about traffic!