Today’s Headlines

  • Hillsborough County Commission Voted Against Transportation Sales Tax Measure (Tampa Tribune)
  • Anti-Train Martin County Employs Same Lobbyist as All Aboard Florida (Mass Transit)
  • North Carolina: All Roads, All the Time (TransitCenter)
  • Everything Still Turning Up Roses for Amtrak’s Gulf Coast Expansion (WFSU)
  • Metro Atlanta Population to Reach 8 Million By 2040 (ATL Biz Chronicle)
  • Denver’s Transit Expansion Took Regional Cooperation, and That’s Tough For Charlotte (Charlotte Observer)
  • Wave Transit Extends First Transit Contract Despite Union Woes (Star News Online)
  • South Carolina Department of Revenue Cuts Off Richlands County Transportation Tax (Cola Daily)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Today’s Headlines

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Pinellas County Considers Gas Tax Increase After Transit Sales Tax Failure (Fox Tampa Bay) Florida Congress Members Head to DC to Lobby for SunRail Phase 2 Expansion (News 13) Raleigh City Councils Moves Forward With Plan to Improve Transit Service (TWC News) Charlotte Light Rail Drives Real Estate Sales and Doubles Home Values (WCNC) Tuscaloosa and Three Other Alabama […]

Today’s Headlines

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North Carolina Rail Plan Includes Passenger Rail to All Regions of State (RT&S) Raleigh Sets Aside $6.8 Million for Affordable Housing Redevelopment (News & Observer) With Jitney Service Shut, People in Forsyth County, GA, Back to Zero Transit Options (Next City) MARTA Seeks Proposal for Oakland Station TOD (Atl Biz Chronicle) Middle Georgia Regional Commission […]

Today’s Headlines

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NC Senate Approves Bill to Give City Tax Revenues to Rural Counties (Citizen-Times) Charlotte Area Planner: “There Is No Highway Wide Enough” (Plan Charlotte) Debate Over Charlotte Streetcar Funding Continues as Planning Moves Forward (Biz Journal) Georgia Piedmont Technical College Receives Grant for Transit Maintenance Training Center (The News) Transpo Professor at Nashville Summit: You’ve Got […]

Today’s Headlines

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Monroe County Asks Florida Transportation Officials to Study Rail to Key West (Tampa Tribune) HART Implements Taxi Voucher Service for Passengers With Disabilities (Mass Transit) Utilities Delays Push Back Fayetteville Transit Center Opening Until September 2016 (FayObserver) Valdosta Transit Pilot Will Be Expanded With More Service Hours, Stops (Mass Transit) City of Atlanta Considers Tax […]
via ATL Urbanist

One Symptom of Driverless-Car Fever: Disinterest in Funding Public Transit

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There’s a quote in an AJC article from last week that clearly reveals a sad symptom of driverless-car fever – one that I’ve seen popping up in comments around the internet for a while. The symptom: a debilitating reluctance to fund expansion in public transit because “robot cars are on their way soon, so why bother?”Here’s a quote from the AJC piece, which focuses on booming Gwinnett County, just northeast of the City of Atlanta:“For the first time next year, Gwinnett and other metro Atlanta counties will have the option to consider a transportation-specific local option sales tax that could help pay for transit and other travel needs.”That’s right! A bill passed earlier this year allows Georgia counties to ask voters to approve up to a 1 percent sales tax that could fund transportation projects, including public transit. Will Gwinnett, which is busting at the seams with population growth while lacking MARTA service (it has its own small bus system) be seeking a tax to boost transit there? Or perhaps even join MARTA? It doesn’t seem entirely likely if the words of county chairman Charlotte Nash are representative of attitudes among all county leaders:Charlotte Nash said it is still too soon for the county to take a large step forward when it comes to public transportation…And who knows — with the advent of self-driving vehicles and services like Uber, she said, the transportation needs of Gwinnett County and the region could quickly change. People may be less interested in rail, she said, if they can relax in a private pod.Relaxing in a private pod! The American Dream. That’s a pretty incredible statement from Nash when you consider what’s happening right now in the county:Recent numbers show that Gwinnett County had the biggest jump in population of any county or city in the Atlanta Region in the past few years. A poll this year by Gwinnett’s own Chamber of Commerce shows that 63% of voters there want to see MARTA rail expanded into the county. A new survey of 4,000 people who live or work in Gwinnett showed a desire for public transportation and walkable places.I hope that self driving cars end up being the savior of transportation that many people seem to think they’ll be. Otherwise we’ll be in one a hell of a mess in a few years, because there are a lot of folks out there who have this opinion of “we don’t need to invest in public transportation, self-driving cars are just around the corner and they’ll solve all of our needs." That this opinion has worked its way into our regional leadership, affecting long-term plans for mobility and the way we shape our built environment, is concerning. Everyone in Gwinnett better all pray for super-affordable, autonomous-car awesomesauce – because that’s the only thing what will end up working in a place that’s continuing to grow its population in a ’carpet of sprawl’ fashion that is seriously lacking in walkable, connected urban centers.Oh and by the way, news today: driverless cars can be hacked by a laser pointer. Just FYI.