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Bus system to receive state funds

ATLANTA -- A metro-wide express bus system could close, without some funding help from the state.

In the proposed state budget for 2014, $8.1 million is proposed for the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority's Xpress system, which runs several bus routes from Gwinnett to Atlanta.

While the system has garnered support in the amended state budget for the past several years (including a boost proposed for the 2013 fiscal year this legislative session), it is the first time that the state has proposed funding in the first cycle of budget-writing.

Rob Alexander, a spokesman for the system, said that the initial funding for the express bus routes, which came through an agreement with metro area counties, ran out several years ago.

While fares bring in about $7 million a year and federal resources add $5 million, the proposed state contribution still leaves the department about $4 million shy of its $24 million budget for fiscal year 2014, which begins in July, Alexander said.

Officials are considering some "belt-tightening," as well as a request for the additional funds when lawmakers meet next year.

According to the most recent statistics, the system's 33 express bus routes have 2.4 million boardings a year. Four routes travel from Gwinnett locations -- two from Sugarloaf Mills in Lawrenceville and one from Snellville and one from Doraville. Those have about 350,000 boarding a year.

Comments

NewsReader 1 year, 9 months ago

Definition of Insanity: Repeating the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. This is a proven subsidized economic failure. Shut it down. Shut it down now. It is not up the the rest of us to subsidize fools that live on one end of the planet and commute to the other for work. MOVE!

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Mack711 1 year, 9 months ago

If this were a private business it would have closed long ago. However when the government gets involved they just raise taxes and throw tax money at this and other systems that will never be able to support themselves with out our tax money. Agree it with NewsReader that it is time to trim this so that it will stand alone, without tax dollars. If the route does not at least break even then close that route, that is the way a suscessful busintss works. Most of these buses are empty and hardly anyone uses them.

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kevin 1 year, 9 months ago

mass-transit to downtown in the only right way to go, and faster. What happened to the monorail ideas of long ago? Did it stay back in time?

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cwkimbro 1 year, 9 months ago

This takes the equivalent of one extra lane of traffic at peak rush hours off the road across long stretches, which is about 1800 cars per hour per lane...before the flow of traffic stops flowing before congestion.

It is way cheaper compared to the cost of building and maintaining a single new lane into the city.

Then the Gwinnett Express buses carry the equivalent of another 1/3-1/2 lane at peak rush hour.

I say we support this, as long as the express buses fill up or at least close to fill up.

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dentaldawg83 1 year, 9 months ago

Mass transit systems, even one like these express buses that are packed most of the time, lose money. They simply never pay for themselves and never will. We either have to pony up the cash or rid ourselves of these funds killers while we still can.

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cwkimbro 1 year, 9 months ago

So does the cost of building a road or highway both in ongoing maintenance and in paying off the upfront capital cost over time.

So we have to compare the 2 cost between bus capacity used vs. expansion capacity. This is one case where the transit solution is actually cheaper.

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kevin 1 year, 9 months ago

Once again. We have already paid for this roadway with taxpayer money, both state & Federal funds.

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