Trains For America

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Georgia needs leadership for brain train

Great news report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about a pair of forums on transportation policy. One of the major projects is rail service between Atlanta, Athens and Macon. The missing ingredient?

The elephant in the room at lunch (actually he wasn’t there) was Gov. Sonny Perdue. Not one person called on Perdue to take the leadership reins on transportation, although it was on the minds of many.

Will the governor come out with a transportation agenda that actually will address the issues facing metro Atlanta and the rest of the state? Will he show leadership and finally support funding mechanisms that would help pay for alternative modes of transportation, including rail?

If Perdue fails to lead, who will step in to move this state forward?

At both forums, there was consensus. Georgia needs to come up with new ways to pay for transportation projects that would fund all modes of travel. The state motor fuel tax is limited to roads and bridges, and those funds already have been spent in the Fast Forward plan and on maintenance of our existing system.

Shackelford reminded that the last time we raised our gas tax was in 1971 when it went from 6.5 cents a gallon to 7.5 cents a gallon.

“We haven’t had a dedicated source of revenue for rail,” Shackelford said, explaining why there’s been no progress in implementing the commuter rail study of 1991. “The lack of a source of operating revenues was the biggest obstacle we faced then, and it’s the greatest obstacle we face now.”

Filed under: Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

One Response

  1. A. Schirmer says:

    The greatest irony is, that Atlanta was born as a transportation hub..and a Rail transportation hub of all things!

    We need a new policy
    We need a new way of thinking, and
    We need a new governor

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November 2007


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