Reading “The Local Agenda” headline in Tuesday’s Times, “Transit remains unknown,” saddened me. In April 2012, the Rapid Transit Subcommittee within the Infrastructure Transportation Committee of VISION 2030 presented an innovative transit plan for Hall County. No government cost was involved; and the plan could be immediately implemented.
Here is what the plan recommends:
A self-funded intermodal transit system to metro Atlanta with an expansion to Hartsfield Airport within three months.
Four morning and evening routes utilizing privatized motor coaches equipped with bathrooms, Wi-Fi, and with luxury comfort — no government investment in vehicles.
Projecting a one-way fare at $6 to two Atlanta destinations. (Right now, the High Occupancy Toll on Interstate 85 costs less than $3 every morning and evening, plus gas at $3.30 or more a gallon, plus all-day parking.)
Using two vacant public parking lots at I-985 interchanges for Rapid Transit Stations, one at Oakwood and one at Exit 24.
Upgrading and rebranding the Red Rabbit to Hall Area Rapid Transit into a greater role of intercity connectivity to the stations for all citizens.
Providing creative marketing concepts to launch the system, using Visionaries–Pioneers in Transportation to attract the 200 daily commuters to Atlanta needed to make the plan feasible.
Annual rider surveys by Gwinnett Transit and GRTA confirm an overwhelming loyalty to their systems once tried. Twenty-six percent of the cars at their station at Exit 4 (with full lots) are Hall County cars.
So why am I sad? Because nothing has been done or said since the April 2012 posting on the Web of this plan, despite early previews. Could this plan answer some of the “unknowns” in the headline, or at least be the foundation for more innovative thinking?
Remember: “Trains go in straight lines; motor coaches go where people are.”
Those wanting more information, especially members of the newly appointed Gainesville Transportation Committee, please check out the Vision 2030 website.