MARTA proposing major cuts in South DeKalb
I have been trying to convince my wife that leaving Atlanta is the best thing we could do for our family. Although my mom, dad and brother are here, I have no attachments or personal loyalties that keep me here other than my wife. She won’t hear of it because here entire family, immediate and extended, is in the metro area. We both work in industries that are growing, and we both have the ability to find employment. I say this because I have come to believe that the Metro Atlanta area is dying. We may be the first Sunbelt city to start losing population to our more progressive and forward-thinking neighbors. I was reading an article discussing the future of MARTA, and that future was one of less service. For South DeKalb, it is the loss of ten bus routes, and the modification of 13 others that will have a huge impact on the way people travel to and from South DeKalb. For me personally, my direct bus access downtown is on the chopping block. I will have to travel to one of the MARTA train stations then head downtown. For many, it is going to mean getting used to riding a different bus, and riders can expect longer wait times and more crowded buses as the number of routes dwindles. With fewer routes, more users will be crowded onto fewer buses, and there will be fewer options on how to get to your destination. There are plans in place to modify other routes to cover parts of the areas affected like Toney Valley for example but these modifications will do away altogether will service to many streets in Toney Valley. What I see is MARTA forcing people who rely on their service to walk further and wait longer. I have always been a supporter of MARTA, but I think they are going to cut themselves right out of business, or into a state takeover. Even poor people can take but so much. When you raise your price, but cut your service level, people are bound to get fed up. Who knows what that breaking point will be, but If MARTA keeps up this cut service and raise prices strategy, that breaking point may come sooner than later. It may be high time for someone in South DeKalb to start their own local bus service that will get people where they need to be, sort of like what happened on Buford Highway.
Here is the list of routes MARTA wants to eliminate:
7, 9, 18, 22, 24, 28, 96, 118, 119 and 216