Georgia Unfiltered

Search This Site

03 September 2010

Clayton County Misses The Bus Yet Again On Mass Transit

In south metro Atlanta, a local government has once again passed on restoring mass transit to its residents.

Clayton News Daily reporter Joel Hall reports that the Clayton County Commission "missed a crucial deadline to call for a binding referendum to create an additional one-cent sales tax to fund the county’s participation in MARTA."

When Clayton residents go to the polls in November to vote on whether they would like to see MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) operating in the county, it will most likely be taken by the Board of Commissioners as a suggestion.

According to the transit advocacy group, Citizens for Progressive Transit (CfPT), the board has missed a crucial deadline to call for a binding referendum to create an additional one-cent sales tax to fund the county’s participation in MARTA.

CfPT President Lee Biola said that Sept. 2 marked the last day the board could call for a binding referendum on the matter to appear on the ballot for the Nov. 2 general election. Instead, a non-binding straw poll on the topic will appear on the ballot, as called for by the April passage of House Bill 1446.

“Today is the deadline to call that referendum, so effectively, there will not be a binding referendum,” Biola said Thursday. “We had that rally [in July] and asked that people have a chance to vote in a binding referendum. They [the board] were made aware of this deadline ... but this is something that they did not want to pursue.”

Hall, Joel (2010-9-3). Hopes shot for binding MARTA referendum. Clayton News Daily. Retrieved on 2010-9-3.

For the record, this failure lays squarely on the shoulders of the Clayton County Commission.

The Republican-controlled Georgia General Assembly gave Clayton County voters the opportunity to tax themselves to support public transportation. But, the Democrat-controlled Clayton County Commission said no.

Luckily for Clayton County residents, the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well. Two private bus companies, Southside Transportation and QuickTransit, are filling the void left by the government.