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report print email Source: Editorial: MARTA narrows options for Ga. 400 expansion: Rail could run to Windward Pkwy
think it through
March 30, 2013 | 01:08 AM

Taxpayers subsidize more than 70% of the cost of every MARTA ride. If MARTA fares are $2.50, the taxpayers have to pay another $5.00 toward each ride. In addition the cost to extend MARTA heavy rail to Windward is estimated at $3 to 4 billion. Light rail would cost half as much, but that is still pricey. MARTA or any mass transit will consume about 2/3 of out total transportation spending, but only about 5% of total trips could use MARTA.

Mass transit only accounts for 5-10% of trips in urban cities. To use mass transit, it has to go where you want to go during the time you want to go. This is tough with the low density single family homes in North Fulton. The North Fulton Comprehensive Transportation Plan said we would have to increase housing densities by 10x near MARTA rail lines and 3x near bus routes. Currently the apartments near Holcomb Bridge and GA 400 are one of the only areas dense enough to justify a bus route.

The question for all the rail and bus supporters is will they pay at least $300 more per family annually in taxes to subsidize North Fulton MARTA, even if they don't use it? Also are they willing to allow 3x to 10x higher housing densities (similar to Midtown Atlanta) to generate enough riders? If yes, are you a regular MARTA rider, or do you want 'other people' to ride it so you can drive?

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