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29 January 2010

Georgia Left Standing On The Platform As Transit Funds Leave The Station

Pardon the pun in the title of this posting, but I think it succinctly describes how Georgia keeps missing the bus on transit funds from the federal government.

Thursday, President Obama announced $8 billion in high-speed rail dollars for several states across the south. Georgia was not among them.

North Carolina has spent more than $300 million since 1992 to bolster its passenger rail service. On Thursday, it saw a return on that investment: a $545 million slice of President Barack Obama's $8 billion high-speed rail stimulus.

Florida got an even bigger piece of that pie -- $1.25 billion.

So soon Florida will start work on a high-speed line from Orlando to Tampa, and North Carolina will get busy upgrading track from Charlotte toward Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, while they're building, Georgia will be studying. The $750,000 will be divided on projects examining the feasibility of three proposed lines: one from Atlanta to Birmingham, another from Atlanta to Chicago, and the third from Macon to Jacksonville.

Hart, Ariel (2010-1-28). North Carolina invests, wins rail money; Georgia doesn't. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2010-1-29.

I, personally, am fed up with all these missed opportunities for Georgia to get more people out of their cars and onto mass transit.

The state needs to provide funding for MARTA. We need to get some trains and buses going to Cobb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties.

All that crap coming from WASPy suburbanites who claim that public transportation will bring crime to their neighborhoods is just that -- crap.

Plain and simple, our elected officials need to do like Spike Lee said and get on the bus!