Tag: MARTA

AJC Publishes Op-Ed on Atlanta, MARTA TSPLOSTs

The Sunday edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on April 2, 2017, published an op-ed by Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd on the new transportation special purpose local option sales taxes for MARTA and Atlanta. Her op-ed is published in its entirety below; the AJC link is here: http://www.myajc.com/news/opinion/opinion-look-future-not-past-gain-most-from-atl-splost/5h0CTF5gG9cK2ppp2ZRL4O/. OPINION: Look to future, not past, to gain most from ATL T-SPLOST By Benita Dodd April marks the full implementation of two transportation special-purpose local option sales taxes (TSPLOSTs) overwhelmingly passed by Atlanta voters in November 2016. A 0.4-cent, five-year Atlanta TSPLOST to raise $300 million has joined the 0.5-cent, 40-year TSPLOST begun in March to raise $2.6 billion for MARTA projects. The massive support is no surprise, given lofty campaign promises… View Article

Transit Funding a Step in the Right Direction

By Baruch Feigenbaum In 2015, the Georgia General Assembly passed the Transportation Funding Act, dedicating substantial existing resources from the general fund to state roadway funding. Unfortunately, the 2015 plan funded neither transit nor local roadways. In 2016, legislation introduced by Sen. Brandon Beach proposed increasing the sales tax in the city of Atlanta, DeKalb County and Fulton County by 0.50 cents to fund three rail expansions: Lindbergh Station to Emory, alongside S.R. 400 from North Springs Station to Windward Parkway and Indian Creek Station to Lithonia. While the Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transportation Authority (MARTA) favored the rail expansion, some communities were not on board. Much of the opposition centered on North Fulton, where area leaders believed that improving… View Article
The Georgia Senate State and Local Government Operations Committee, chaired by Sen. John Albers, held a hearing February 9 on legislation for a local countywide sales tax increase to fund transit, including 11.9-mile MARTA rail line expansion along Georgia 400. Albers invited Baruch Feigenbaum to testify. Below is Feigenbaum’s testimony.   Members of the Georgia Senate State and Local Government Operations Committee, my name is Baruch Feigenbaum. I am the Assistant Director of Transportation Policy at Reason Foundation, a non-profit think tank. I am also a Senior Fellow with the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. For almost four decades Reason’s transportation experts have been advising federal, state and local policymakers on transportation matters. My Credentials on Today’s Topic I am a… View Article
A PDF version of this Issue Analysis is available here. By Baruch Feigenbaum (This Issue Analysis is published by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation in response to a legislative request for an update of the Foundation’s August 2013 transportation study published jointly with the Reason Foundation.) Several Georgia legislators and members of the business community are supporting a sales tax increase to fund an 11.9-mile MARTA rail expansion from North Springs Station in Sandy Springs to Windward Parkway in Alpharetta. Given the high cost of expansion of rail and the corridor’s low population and employment densities, a bus rapid transit/express bus line using SR 400’s soon-to-be-constructed express lanes would be a much better option.   The Georgia General Assembly passed… View Article
A January 22, 2016 article by Dave Williams in The Atlanta Business Chronicle quotes Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd on the folly of rail expansion for metro Atlanta. The article is below; access the article online here. Market forces will power state’s new transportation plan By Dave Williams Toll lanes across the entire top end of the Perimeter and on Georgia 400 north to Atlanta’s far suburbs. Rebuilt interchanges at Interstate 285 and I-20 east and west of Atlanta. And new truck-only lanes on I-75 from Macon to McDonough. All are part of an ambitious $10 billion, 10-year transportation plan Gov. Nathan Deal announced Jan. 12. After some initial experiments, the plan’s unprecedented scope shows theGeorgia Department of View Article

Transit findings’ not-so-silver linings

This op-ed by Benita Dodd, vice president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, was published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on January 6, 2015. By Benita Dodd An Onion report that 98 percent of Americans surveyed favor public transportation – for other commuters – is one that, since its publication in 2000, remains probably the satirical newsletter’s most reality-based article. Just this past November, an Atlanta Regional Commission survey found 70 percent of people in metro Atlanta – and 79 percent in Clayton County – consider public transportation “very important” to the region. Why is this relevant? The Census Bureau reports that just 3 percent of metro Atlanta residents use public transportation. The ARC omitted asking respondents whether they feel the… View Article
The July 19, 2014, Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an op-ed by Benita Dodd on mass transit in Clayton County. By Benita M. Dodd By all accounts, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is operating infinitely more responsibly and responsively and, for that, CEO Keith Parker and a largely sensible MARTA board deserve credit. Unfortunately, that and the flimsy prospect of MARTA rail service for Clayton County hardly justify adding a penny to Clayton’s sales tax for MARTA to operate its mass transit. There’s that famous saying: “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Many Clayton workers have struggled with public transportation since the 2010 shutdown of C-Tran service. Remember why it shut down? That was the result of… View Article

AJC Article on Transit Quotes Foundation

Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd proposed bus service instead of rail expansion in an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Falling transit use in metro rides against U.S. trend,” by Andria Simmons, in the Sunday edition on April 13, 2014. The article appeared on page B1, the front of the Metro section. By Andria Simmons Daren Givens’ weekend outings used to begin with MARTA — a bus or train ride from his Fairlie-Poplar neighborhood to the zoo, a concert or an intown festival. That changed over the past few years as MARTA raised its prices. Givens started riding his bicycle a lot more. And though they still take MARTA to work, on weekends Givens, his wife and their young son… View Article

Partnerships Needed in Overhaul of MARTA

By John Keys  The 2013 Georgia General Assembly discussion on “MARTA privatization”– a concept initially required in specific areas in proposed legislation – became a zero-sum game proposition, in which “one side” was seen as losing everything and the “other side” winning everything if it became law.  Legislators were seemingly in the position of having to choose one “winner,” with no middle ground available between both positions. There is a middle ground in the debate on this issue, however. It is to require that MARTA not be forced to rely exclusively on “privatization” to accomplish parts of its work tasks, but to require that MARTA adopt the working concept of using “transit partnerships” to do its job.  Transit partnerships would… View Article

Competition Can Add Jobs, Cut MARTA Losses

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an op-ed by Foundation Vice President Benita M. Dodd on Tuesday, October 30, that proposed MARTA’s deficit be reduced through managed competition, including privatization and outsourcing at the transit agency. Add jobs, cut losses By Benita Dodd The failure of MARTA, the backbone of Atlanta’s public transportation, will devastate the region’s workers and mobility. KPMG’s recent audit warns that on its current course, the transit authority is unsustainable: MARTA must cut $25 million a year. Managed competition, including privatization and outsourcing, is critical. There are two reasons to embrace this approach. First, Harvard professor Stephen Goldsmith, as mayor of Indianapolis, identified government’s role in his “Yellow Pages” test: “If the phone book lists three companies… View Article

When I served four terms in the state Senate, one of the few places where you could go to always and get concrete information about real solutions was the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. That hasn’t changed. [The Foundation] is really right up there at the top of the state think tanks, so you should be very proud of the work that they are doing!

Congressman Tom Price more quotes