Saturday, April 17, 2010

More MARTA funding b.s. ... I am Jack's complete lack of surprise

I missed this a few days ago, but check out this exchange from House Speaker David Ralston being interviewed by Denis O'Hayer:

Ralston: I’m not sure MARTA has ever had very much support from the state. It was never designed to be state-supported. It’s an important part of a large transportation infrastructure in Georgia. But I think before we have any kind of serious discussion about how we right the ship, we need to find out how we got into the storm.
O’Hayer: Is there time for that?
Ralston: Probably not this session. I mean, that’s going to have to be an extended discussion looking at all the things I’ve mentioned. And I think that would be a discussion that would take a lot of time. More than 40 days.
More time?  You mean more than the two years we've been talking about a regional transportation funding mechanism?  More than the year and a half it has been since MARTA almost went broke and had to be bailed out by the ARC and the stimulus?  

How can you not know??  Surely at least you have an opinion.  Jill Chambers has an opinion.  It is one I don't share, but she has an opinion.  I have an opinion, as a lay-person and not as someone charged with setting public policy for the state, like Ralston.  I believe that MARTA is funded primarily by a sales tax, and so during a major recession it is TO BE EXPECTED that funding would decline.

This is freaking ridiculous.  At this point, it should not take any time to diagnose what is wrong with MARTA, at least if you aren't a state leader.  Someone, anyone, in a position to make things happen, tell me what MARTA needs to do in order to please the GOP enough to get some help.  A list of 10 things.  

Hopefully I'll be able to take a look at MARTA's financials when I am finally done with this semester, so maybe I can help Mr. Ralston out.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Since you asked, here are the ten things MARTA must do to gain Georgia GOP support:

    1. Ban everyone with an income under $75,000/yr

    2. Give Bible lessons over the PA system in stations, buses and trains

    3. Fire all employees who are not related to a member of the legislature or the business associate of a member.

    4. Require all riders to live outside of Atlanta.

    5. Agree to pull up all tracks, sell the rail for scrap, destroy the train cars, and turn the right of ways into new automobile lanes (and none of the sissy HOV garbage).

    6. Replace all buses with Ford Explorers and Hummers.

    7. Require riders to purchase previously mentioned Ford Explorers and Hummers to use MARTA.

    8. "Riders" must contribute at least $15,000 annually to Republican controlled PACs.

    9. "Riders" must sign a pledge to never ride a bicycle except for on vacation and then only on private property out of the view of the public.

    10. Parking, parking, parking! MARTA must commit to building enough parking in metro Atlanta that no one ever has to wait to find a parking spot, all parking spots are within ten feet of where the "rider" is going, and are provided free of charge.

    If MARTA can do those ten things, then the GOP might possibly consider thinking about maybe talking about letting someone else give MARTA money.


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