This post is a response to a commenter on my earlier post, Public transportation, solution or problem? You can see the original post and the comment in its entirety here: https://gajim.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/public-transportation-solution-or-problem/
Commenter: “As far as tax payer subsidies, who do you think pays for the roads you drive on? Billions and billions of dollars are spent on road infrastructure, and you’re not complaining about that. The 14th st bridge project alone cost over $100,000,000… just for the fixing of one bridge over the highway.”
Response: Thank you for raising this point. Proponents of MARTA often try to equate the cost of public transportation with the cost of building roads but let me be clear, the two things are completely different and to compare them shows a lack of objectivity.
We all pay for roads because they are a basic component required for our society to function. Every human in the United States depends on a roadway system. A woman can walk to the grocery store but the food gets there on a truck. A man may not have a job but his unemployment check was delivered on a road. A person might take MARTA to Starbucks but there wouldn’t be any coffee without roads. Comparing roads to MARTA is like comparing water to arugula.
I agree with your assertion that road construction is often too costly but that simply illustrates the point I made earlier. Governments and their dependent agencies are inefficient delivery systems and should be tasked with the fewest responsibilities possible.
Commenter: “In addition, study after study by the CDC and Universites have shown the benefits of public transit. Atlanta has a high obesity rate and one of the highest asthma rates in the country, all of which are are tied to the automobile lifestyle. In fact, we have previously lost Federal highway funding because our air quality was so bad that it violated EPA standards.”
Response: It is easy for a person to claim validity by citing “study after study” but it is impossible to determine the veracity of the claim or the study without a specific attribution. I would like to point out that the CDC and the EPA are not independent, objective organizations. Both the CDC and EPA depend on federal funding for their livelihood and as such are political instruments.
That concludes my response to commenter Paul. I am glad that he took the time to comment because this is an important issue to the future our state. In the next few years Georgia is going to face increasingly difficult budgetary decisions and we will all have to make some tough choices. If you have anything to add to what Paul and I have written please feel free to leave a comment but play nice or it may not see the light of day.