Mass Transit in Atlanta Georgia Research Paper

Pages: 9 (3427 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Transportation

Mass Transit in Atlanta, GA

Mass transit in Atlanta, Georgia is not without its limitations; however, on the whole it is convenient, affordable, and progressive, and valuable to the population.

The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority puts out an annual report on metro Atlanta's transportation systems. It is a comprehensive and detailed accounting of the condition of transit in the state of Georgia. The GRTA annual report covers a variety of transportation factors, such as the increase or decrease in traffic congestion and its influencing forces, statistical data about morning and afternoon rush hour, transit safety and accident and death rates, the budgetary and financial concerns of county, city, and state agencies, the status of various road and bridge projects, and even the state of Georgia's pavement. (Hart, March 3, 2011) It is an impressive narrative of anything and everything one ever wanted to know about Georgia's transportation systems. The reader who is dependent on mass transit is left with a conclusion that brings both comfort and relief. Mass transit in Atlanta, Georgia is not without its limitations; however, on the whole it is convenient, affordable, and progressive, and valuable to the population.

Body

1. There are some limitations in Georgia's mass transit system...

a) Since 2004, the use of mass transit in Georgia has increased exponentially.

increased need for expanded service hours & a wider service area crowding & congestion on current transit systems

b) Economical factors are instigating some agencies to propose fare increases and route cuts.

Cobb Community Transit System - cutting three least-used routes & increasing fares .50 local and $1 express

c) Keeping these systems running is an expense that has become a burden on taxpayers.

the Atlanta Regional Commission wish list - 436 projects, $22.8 billion

.01 proposed tax increase would not even be adequate to fund all of these projects

Cobb county discussing shutting down their transit system completely; Clayton county shut theirs down last year.

2. Convenient. There are currently several transportation options in Atlanta to choose from, a bus or a train being the two most obvious choices.

a) House Bill 277...makes mass transit in GA easy to structure, service, and utilize.

b) Metro Atlanta Regional Transportation Association (MARTA) trains & buses

c) County transportation systems (Cobb County Transportation & others)

d) Future of mass transit:

streetcars high-speed rail systems.

3. Affordable. Along with being convenient, mass transit in Atlanta is an affordable means of travel.

a) cost of MARTA & buses compared to the cost of gasoline

b) reduced-fare passes for low-income passengers

c) the cost to the taxpayers is compensated for by its provision of employment and means to find and keep employment, allowing citizens of lesser means to support themselves instead of relying on public subsidies such as welfare programs

4. Progressive. The many forms of transportation in Atlanta make its public transit systems diverse and advanced.

a) bus and train routes that are beginning to compare to those of New York city, Chicago, and Philadelphia

b) projected use of streetcars is a progressive answer to the problems of inaccessible and inconvenient areas

c) Georgia makes effective use of high speed rail systems and it is likely that this will increase in the near future

d) College students reenact Freedom Rides to celebrate its 50th anniversary

5. Valuable. The fact that mass transportation systems in Atlanta are convenient, affordable, and progressive makes them ultimately extremely valuable to Georgia's population.

a) CCT: local route 10, 4,000 rides daily, and local route 30, 3,000 rides daily

b) Currently fares generate approximately $7.5 billion in revenue annually

Conclusion

The several transportation options in Atlanta to choose from, its affordable and convenient nature, and the many forms of transportation in Atlanta that make its public transit systems diverse and advanced are the components of a viable and necessary system. The above facts, figures, and statements prove that mass transit in Atlanta, Georgia is not without its limitations; however, on the whole it is convenient, affordable, and progressive, and valuable to the population.

Mass Transit in Atlanta, GA

The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority puts out an annual report on metro Atlanta's transportation systems. It is a comprehensive and detailed accounting of the condition of transit in the state of Georgia. The GRTA annual report covers a variety of transportation factors, such as the increase or decrease in traffic congestion and its influencing forces, statistical data about morning and afternoon rush hour, transit safety and accident and death rates, the budgetary and financial concerns of county, city, and state agencies, the status of various road and bridge projects, and even the state of Georgia's pavement. (Hart, March 3, 2011) It is an impressive narrative of anything and everything one ever wanted to know about Georgia's transportation systems. The reader who is dependent on mass transit is left with the following conclusion that brings both comfort and relief. Mass transit in Atlanta, Georgia is not without its limitations; however, on the whole it is convenient, affordable, and progressive, and valuable to the population.

There are some limitations in Georgia's mass transit system, the sort of problems that bring a commuter to read something like the GRTA annual report in the first place. These problems include overcrowding and congestion, limited service hours and service routes, and the expenses that go along with running any type of mass transit system.

Since 2004, the use of mass transit in Georgia has increased exponentially. This has caused an increased need for expanded service hours and a wider service area, and crowding and congestion on the transit systems currently in operation. Economical factors are instigating some agencies to propose fare increases and route cuts, such as the Cobb Community Transit System, which is talking about cutting the three bus routes with the lowest number of riders and increasing its fares .50 for local routes and $1 for express routes. Currently, the CCT fares only cover one-third of its expenses. (Camp, December 12, 2010) Mass transit is clearly a priority in Atlanta and its surrounding suburban counties, but keeping these systems running is an expense that has become a burden on taxpayers. Cobb county is currently operating on a $31 million budget shortfall, and shutting down the Cobb Community Transit system completely has been considered, which is what happened in Clayton county just last year. This would be devastating to locals who depend on buses to get to and from work, and would only serve to decrease the viability of Atlanta's economy.

This month, local city and county governments created wish lists that were presented to the Georgia state transportation planning director for review. The Atlanta Regional Commission, which supports Atlanta and ten of its surrounding counties, had a list of 436 projects for consideration that come to a grand total of $22.8 billion. The majority of these projects were requests for improvements and additions in mass transit systems, which backers say is "crucial to help deal with metro Atlanta's traffic problems...they are making the area less livable." (Associated Press, April 17, 2011) There is a proposed .01 tax increase that voters will decide whether or not to implement in a 2012 referendum. This tax increase would generate an additional $8 billion dollars in revenue, but opponents of this proposal argue that even this would not be adequate to support all of the expensive mass transit projects on the Atlanta Regional Commission's wish lists. There are officials, such as Larry Savage who ran for Cobb County's Department of Transportation chairman last year, who do not believe that mass transit should be subsidized by tax payers at all. Savage's platform decries the need for all transit systems to be self-supporting on order to be viable. (Camp, December 12, 2010)

There are issues and problems involved with mass transit in Atlanta, just as there are issues and problems involved with most everything in any type of community. Problems are a normal and even expected factor when people form a society and then live together in it, and no one has ever been able to find a perfect solution for any of these types of problems. But human beings are a creative, persistent, and ambitious species, and our solutions for the issues surrounding mass transit are effective and efficient. Despite the above issues, mass transit in Atlanta is convenient, affordable, and progressive, making it extremely valuable to the people of Georgia.

In 2010, House Bill 277 included language that separated the 159 counties in the state of Georgia and created twelve individual transportation districts, with Atlanta and its ten surrounding suburban counties of Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale making up one complete transportation district. (Orr, April 1, 2011) This makes mass transit systems in Georgia especially easy to structure, service, and utilize. Because of this, mass transit in Atlanta, Georgia is a convenient way to get to and from work or school, go shopping, or to participate in leisure activities such as the local cinema and sporting events.

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