T-SPLOST trust problem

There’s a bigger T-SPLOST trust problem than Jim Galloway wrote about in the AJC on 30 June 2012, in Trust and the transportation sales tax,

But there is a larger unease growing, at least within the DeKalb and Fulton county political communities. As Republicans finally turn their heads toward the need for a regional transportation solution, some African-American lawmakers and other elected officials worry that their role in a transit system that they have managed for better than three decades is about to be lessened — or largely subverted.

Galloway went into great detail as to why there’s a lack of trust between those and other groups in metro Atlanta about T-SPLOST. David Pendered examined similar political fissures 28 May 2012 in the SaportaReport.

Neither Galloway nor Pendered mentioned a bigger lack of trust on the part of the rest of the state: lack of trust in a process that is managed by GDOT in Atlanta. A process that appears to have been set up so Atlanta metro could have its own tax district. A process that mashed other counties into ad hoc regions that make little sense.

In exchange for increased north Fulton authority over MARTA, the transit agency gets more control over its own cash flow for three years. And that should be just enough time for state to establish a bona fide, regional transit system, Lindsey said.

Who controls it, and who pays for it, remain open questions.

How about a bona fide state-wide transit system? Where’s the passenger rail from Atlanta to Valdosta and Savannah and on to Orlando and Jacksonville? Where’s the Valdosta metro bus and commuter rail system? Where’s the high speed rail from Atlanta to DC?

We won’t get any of that through T-SPLOST. Yet we’re told by T-SPLOST’s Chamber backers that every region must approve T-SPLOST for it to work. For what to work? Atlanta metro’s regional transit system, which even many in Atlanta metro doubt will work with T-SPLOST?

How about we vote down T-SPLOST and vote in some legislators who will work on a sane state-wide transit strategy.