Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tell us something we didn't know...

Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) brings in the big bucks for Atlanta!

I guess it took 2 studies by my fellow planning/economic development professionals on the academic side to affirm this to be true.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government Study conducted a study from 2007 and this year and the findings confirmed this:
MARTA’s spending — its 2011 capital and operating budget was $617 million — supported between 20,000 and 37,000 jobs in Georgia between 2007 and 2011. The fluctuations were caused by differences in annual capital expenditures.
Nearly 150,000 workers in the Atlanta area, including car owners, use MARTA for their daily commute.
Of the 18 fastest growing industry sectors, 14 employ workers who rely heavily on MARTA.
Jobs supported by MARTA’s capital budget provide $500 million to $1 billion in personal income each year.
The economic activity of the nearly 100,000 MARTA-dependent workers support another 80,000 additional jobs.
It's quite amusing that 2 studies had to be published to reaffirm what most of us suspected although the majority of Metro Atlantans rejected the T-SPLOST on the 31st of July.  I guess you have to dress it up in a pretty bow and ribbon and then say "See it does work".  However, we are in the South were the car is king and the way things are developed and funded around it.  At the end of the day, Atlanta and Georgia politicos know that MARTA is the reason why so much of the city's prominent existence depends on this public transit system.

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