Ralston: I’m not sure MARTA has ever had very much support from the state. It was never designed to be state-supported. It’s an important part of a large transportation infrastructure in Georgia. But I think before we have any kind of serious discussion about how we right the ship, we need to find out how we got into the storm.
O’Hayer: Is there time for that?
Ralston: Probably not this session. I mean, that’s going to have to be an extended discussion looking at all the things I’ve mentioned. And I think that would be a discussion that would take a lot of time. More than 40 days.
More time? You mean more than the two years we've been talking about a regional transportation funding mechanism? More than the year and a half it has been since MARTA almost went broke and had to be bailed out by the ARC and the stimulus?
How can you not know?? Surely at least you have an opinion. Jill Chambers has an opinion. It is one I don't share, but she has an opinion. I have an opinion, as a lay-person and not as someone charged with setting public policy for the state, like Ralston. I believe that MARTA is funded primarily by a sales tax, and so during a major recession it is TO BE EXPECTED that funding would decline.
This is freaking ridiculous. At this point, it should not take any time to diagnose what is wrong with MARTA, at least if you aren't a state leader. Someone, anyone, in a position to make things happen, tell me what MARTA needs to do in order to please the GOP enough to get some help. A list of 10 things.
Hopefully I'll be able to take a look at MARTA's financials when I am finally done with this semester, so maybe I can help Mr. Ralston out.