Category: Transportation

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of June 6, 2016, included an article by Pete Corson on ride-sharing services’ role in transit and quoted Kelly McCutchen. The article is printed in its entirety below and can be accessed online here (subscription required). Will Uber and Lyft also disrupt transit planning? The disruption that Uber and Lyft have wreaked on taxis could soon affect MARTA as well, according to a recent Morgan Stanley report. The report describes how ride-sharing services could be friend or foe to public transit systems, specifically mentioning Atlanta as the kind of southern metropolis most likely to be upended by shared mobility trends. The impact of ride-sharing is already being discussed internally by MARTA, which is gearing up for… View Article

AJC Quotes Foundation on Atlanta Streetcar

The Sunday June 5, 2016 edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution included a column by its Senior Managing Editor on the Atlanta Streetcar entitled, “Boondoggle or future boon?” in which Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd was quoted. The column is reproduced below in its entirety; access it online here (subscription required). By Bert Roughton Let me begin by saying no one loves buses, trains and streetcars more than I. This is why I feel so guilty. I have been a devoted MARTA rider for more than 30 years. As a young reporter, I was on one the first trains to connect the city to the airport. When relatives visit, I force them onto MARTA to ballgames and Lenox just… View Article
By Mike Dobbins The pace quickens for putting out some information for citizens to consider as they decide how to vote on the transit referendum. Yet major issues remain about how people will be able to make an informed decision on this most important opportunity. I shared in the Saporta Report recently the process by which rational and effective transit planning should go forward. Regrettably, Atlanta lacks a comprehensive transit plan and has not considered most of the technical and commonsense steps to create one, instead pinning its faith on a 52-mile streetcar plan. My concern here was well captured by John Kay of the Financial Times (4/27) under the headline, “Grand projects are worthless if they don’t work.” Itstates:… View Article

Do Governments Underplay Buses, Favor Rail?

In an editorial below from Transportation Reviews  that was published online in March 2016, author David A. Hensher opines on, “Why is Light Rail Starting to Dominate Bus Rapid Transit Yet Again?” Read the full text here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01441647.2016.1155851. Below are some excerpts that are relevant to Georgia governments in making sensible choices among transit modes. This highlight sums up his viewpoint:  “The value for money proposition should deliver the best outcome for society regardless of whether it is rail or bus based, in their light and heavy configuration.” Almost weekly, we see proposals to build light rail in many cities, and Australian cities are no exception. It is also quite marked how absent any serious consideration of… View Article

Transit’s Future is in Innovation, Not in Trains

By Benita Dodd Rail transit as a mass transportation mode is one of the least effective, most expensive options for metro Atlanta, whose reputation as the poster child for sprawl has been earned. The region’s low density makes the mode supremely inefficient and the innovations in transportation make it archaic. Yet rail proponents barely bat an eye at these realities as they continue the campaign to expand MARTA rail. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, as it observes the rail discussion, has long held that one of the least objectionable rail corridors would be the Clifton corridor. The corridor is one of the metro area’s most congested commutes, with major employers such as Emory University and Hospital, the Centers for Disease… 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

Atlanta Has Reached Peak Transit

By Randal O’Toole For decades, the transit industry has tried to convince Americans that they have a moral obligation to subsidize public transit and to spend billions of dollars building new rail transit lines. Yet the reality is that transit is increasingly irrelevant, as Atlantans have shown by deserting transit in droves. Federal transit data show that Atlanta transit ridership has declined every year since 2009 and was lower in 2014 than in any of the previous 30 years. Since the region’s population has grown by nearly 150 percent during those years, per capita transit ridership has dropped by more than 60 percent since 1985. Data are not yet available for all of 2015, but in the first nine months… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd A Georgia Senate committee heard this week from proponents and foes of a sales tax increase to fund public transportation projects including an 11.9-mile MARTA heavy rail expansion up Georgia 400. Witnesses represented developers, environmentalists, Millennials, elected officials and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. The Foundation’s Senior Fellow Baruch Feigenbaum, a transportation analyst with the Reason Foundation and an affected metro Atlanta resident, testified that, “for one MARTA heavy-rail expansion we could provide 20 high quality bus rapid transit expansions.” Transit activists frequently portray the Georgia Public Policy Foundation as “anti-transit” because our experts consistently rail against rail in metro Atlanta – heavy, light and commuter rail as well as streetcars. The “anti-transit” label is… 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

The Truth About Millennial Commuting Patterns

Proponents of MARTA rail expansion have cited Millennials’ travel patterns as justification. But in an article published February 3, 2016 by the Reason Foundation, Joseph Knight and Baruch Feigenbaum (a Senior Fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation) analyze the claim that Millennials were driving less because they took more transit. Of particular interest, they note, “while the temporary decrease in driving sounds impressive, the development of technology is a bigger factor. Since 2005 telecommuting has increased a hefty 79% — much faster than transit usage has increased. To attract talent, employers are keen to offer flexible schedules that include telecommuting. Millennials are using ridesharing including Uber and Lyft and home-delivery services such as AmazonFresh, Birchbox and Trunk Club View Article

Thank you for the great work that the Public Policy Foundation is doing across our state setting a wonderful example. I first ran for the Senate in 1994, and the Foundation was that resource I called upon to be a great help to me as we were articulating positions and formulating public policy initiatives. We appreciate very much your leadership and all that you stand for.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle more quotes