Atlanta: Subsidies, Traffic Congestion, and Giving Back

So it appears that with the release of the latest TSPLOST list is beginning to bring out the anti-transit campaign.  Not that they weren’t there before, now they just feel they have something tangible to argue with.  Take this fine piece of journalism, or maybe this one.  Both of these OpEd writers are opposed to TSPLOST, and especially the Cobb County rail line.  I particularly enjoy how both of them criticize the funding, percent of the population that would use it, and the narrow-minded short-sighted vision that they both possess regarding their county.

It seems that both of these “authors” are not pleased with the cost of mass transit and how much subsidy it has to receive.  Now I am by no means an expert on funding, but it does not take a genius to know that Coca-Cola or UPS didn’t step forward and say “Hey, we will pay for I-285!”  So if a private company didn’t pay for that road, or 99% of all other roads built within the metro, and the gas tax only covers a portion (similar to how fares cover a portion in mass transit), how were those roads paid for?  That’s right, subsidies.  How are those roads maintained, improved, widened, protected, patrolled, and cleaned?  You guessed it, subsidies.  In fact most groups have found that the gas tax is lucky to pay for 50% of road maintenance and construction, and that the gap between income (gas tax) and cost is at an astounding $600 billion (billion, with a “b”).  So if I may offer you a little advice Ms. Armstrong, and Ms. Dodd, if you want to preach fiscal responsibility regarding transportation, I suggest you find a way to make roads independently sustainable.