The following was submitted by Carl Holt, an Atlanta voter who has been a supporter of MARTA for a long time. We appreciate the input from all of our customers and look forward to the vote on November 8th.
On November 8th, voters in the City of Atlanta will be asked to fund MARTA’s largest expansion, since its creation. City of Atlanta voters will see on the last page of the ballot the question: “Shall an additional sales tax of 0.5% be collected in the City of Atlanta for the purpose of significantly expanding and enhancing MARTA transit service in Atlanta?” If passed the sales tax increase will raise an estimated $2.5 billion over 40 years for MARTA, that figure does not include the potential for matching funds from federal grants, state grants, and private donations. The 0.5% investment will allow for nearly 40% of the revenue raised to be paid by visitors who shop, eat, play, and stay in Atlanta.
What City of Atlanta will get from this sales tax increase?
- Expansion and enhancement of rail and bus services across the city.
- Reduced wait time for MARTA trains and buses.
- Connectivity to locations not currently served by rail; most notably along the BeltLine corridor.
- Access to existing and new job opportunities.
The MARTA Expansion Bill required MARTA to submit a preliminary list of projects to Atlanta City Council for their approval. The list includes projects like: infill stations along current MARTA tracks, expansion of the Atlanta Streetcar to the BeltLine and other corridors in Atlanta (from the Atlanta Streetcar System Plan), station improvements and enhancements, Bus Rapid Transit and Arterial Bus Transit lines along key corridors, transit centers, and improved local bus service.
Click link for interactive map: Google Map of MARTA Sales Tax Expansion Projects
This vote has the potential to change how the citizens of Atlanta travel within their city. It will allow access to areas not currently served by rail transit. It will provide more residents access to reliable, high quality transit. Transportation costs are a heavy burden on low income families, providing more access will help Atlanta solve its income inequality issues and potentially lift thousands out of poverty. The MARTA Expansion Sales Tax is an opportunity for us to take the first step in solving our congestion issues and ensure Atlanta stays competitive with other cities that have made transit investments over the past 16 years (Dallas, Denver, Portland, Seattle, Houston, Charlotte.) Atlanta already has an excellent transit back bone in its Heavy Rail System, these projects will complement the system that has allowed Atlanta to host mega events like 1996 Olympic Games, 2 Super Bowls, large conventions, marquee college sport games, etc.
Vote Yes to MARTA on November 8th and let’s keep moving the city forward.
Carl Holt, GISP