State funding for MARTA
In January, after five years of working from home, I took a job that requires a 10 mile commute from my home. I was dreading the commute, until I realized that I could ride MARTA to work. That decision means that I now enjoy a comfortable, efficient, and productive commute. I am writing to ask that you support state funding for MARTA. It is vital for the citizens of metropolitan Atlanta and for the economic development of Georgia.
Many other cities with substantial transit systems receives significant portions of their operating budget from state funds (Boston - 54%, Philadelphia - 44%, New York - 29%, Chicago - 23%). Atlanta is a leading city in the Southeast, but in order to maintain and improve that position, we need to maintain and improve MARTA. Comprehensive and affordable public transit is vital to growing cities like Atlanta. It services not only the people who ride the MARTA, but also serves all the people of the region. Transit use reduces air pollution and traffic congestion, and provides transportation and a higher quality of life for the people of metropolitan Atlanta, whether or not they ride MARTA.
I agree that MARTA's budget, like that of all government agencies, should be balanced. However, metro-Atlatans and visitors to our region should not be forced to suffer higher fares and reduced services for that to happen. Unfortunately, that will likely be the result unless the State contributes to the MARTA budget.
Atlanta contributes greatly to the Georgia economy, and Atlanta needs the State to contribute to the Atlanta economy, through increased funding to MARTA. State support of MARTA is necessarly to adequately serve Atlanta and all of Georgia. Please consider providing it.
Karama C. Neal, Ph.D.