Simply spelled out:
Gwinnett County public officials have made repeated attempts to bring MARTA into Gwinnett County and have been defeated by the voting public in 1971, 1990, and most recently in 2019 with 54% of the vote.
Raymond Hill, a Senior Lecturer at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School states: “The four-mile extension from Doraville into the Norcross area will run about $2.1 Billion, roughly 17% of the $12.1 billion expected to be collected”, and probably never completed in our lifetime.
The proposed $.01 sales tax will go on for 30 years; MARTA’s fleet of rail cars is aging, replacing the cars will cost hundreds of millions of dollars in the very near future. MARTA’s new labor contract – which includes a variety of pay hikes for employees – will cost $41 million over three years.
“With decreased farebox and sales tax revenue, we will be unable to sustain full bus, rail, and paratransit service for those customers who rely on us,” said MARTA’s General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker in a public statement. “MARTA is strongly urging Congress to provide additional money.”, so they are looking to Gwinnett County taxpayer to bail them out.
During a forum hosted by the Gwinnett Chamber this past week, the three Republican candidates said they will vote “No” while the three Democrats said they will vote “Yes” on the [transit] referendum.
In this current environment of the Wuhan Virus (Covid-19) MARTA ridership has dropped 90%. New York City had the highest death rate in the U.S., and most experts now agree it was public transportation that spread the virus.