Talking point – Deal dismisses transit

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt February 5, 2014
A photo my friend Catie took from a MARTA train while passing the downtown connector on Jan. 28.

A photo my friend Catie took from a MARTA train while passing the downtown connector on Jan. 28.

When the Jan. 28 snowstorm hit, many commuters were stuck in traffic for hours, trapped inside their cars on metro Atlanta’s interstate system.

If only there was some way to get people out of their cars. Perhaps we could build a – what do you call it? – transit system of some kind? Actually, Atlanta has one of those. It’s called MARTA. People who used it on Jan. 28, like my friend Catie, didn’t have to spend the night at a Home Depot.

Gov. Nathan Deal has pledged a top to bottom review of how he and other officials managed screw up Atlanta’s response to 2 inches of snow accumulating on the ground. A reporter from Georgia Public Broadcasting asked Deal if he thought building more of that transit stuff would make the roads less congested when that snow stuff starts falling from the sky.

According to GPB, Deal said that wouldn’t have changed anything:

“I know there are those who would suggest that this is an excellent example of why we need more mass transit. Maybe it is a signal that people would consider that. But the reality is, it would not have caused us to have fewer single occupants in vehicles on the day in question when this happened last week.

The governor concluded the whole transit thing is “a good talking point.”

Please read the whole GPB article. To see it, click here.

“Those who would suggest” that having more transit to get people off the roads would be an effective way of getting people off the roads just don’t know Atlantans. We actually hate our families and love the rugged comfort of sleeping atop a pile of cardboard boxes on the floor of a hardware store.

Oh, you silly mass transit people, with your fancy ideas and talking points backed up by reality and whatnot. Will you ever learn?

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • Derek Boudreau

    I was taking a class at UGA in Buckhead that week. They had complimentary onsite garage parking which made driving and parking easy and that’s what I did on Monday and was my plan for the week. Having just recently moved from Boston, when I heard snow was due mid-day Tuesday, I looked up the nearest Marta station and realized Lenox station was only a few blocks away from the class. We took the T everywhere in Boston and when it snowed it wasn’t an issue to get where you needed so at that point I didn’t even question driving vs MARTA. Tuesday morning I was expecting the trains to be packed as others in the Metro area certainly were of the same thinking. Not the case. It was oddly uncrowded in the morning and I got to class in 45 minutes from Decatur (Monday commute by car was about 35 mins). We were then let out about 2pm due to the amount of snow that was coming down and collecting on the roads. I walked the few blocks to the train and I was back in Decatur by 3pm totally relaxed and playing in the snow with my girls. Had I driven I would likely not have made it home for dinner and had been completely frazzled. Having more MARTA lines and options coupled with a shift in thinking is definitely the answer for many of Atlanta’s commuting woes.

    PS – I will be taking MARTA to class when it resumes again in a few weeks… snow or no snow.

  • John Adcox

    Derek, I wish we had a system like the T in Boston. It’s one of the best. I don’t know who these guys are, but they seem to have the right idea:

  • notapunk

    I always use MARTA on snow days. I got home in an hour on Jan. 28. But Atlantans don’t, for the most part, want to take the train. (It was far from full the 2 days I rode it. And I admit I wouldn’t ride it regularly) and the MARTA track layout doesn’t make much sense as a mass transit tool. Fixing the system would be outrageously expensive, Even if you spent the money, I doubt Atlantans would use it.

  • Steve Vogel

    Another example of Deal’s ignorance.

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