The collapse of a major interstate in Atlanta has prompted increases in transit ridership, which has brought much debate about transportation in a region that has atypically and historically gone out of its way to disregard the importance of transportation options.
Mayor Mike Bodker said he thinks residents could support higher sales taxes for some type of transit but local benefits have to be clear.
“The thing that residents are protecting is the golden goose of Johns Creek, which is these great schools,” Bodker said. “What they perceive is: If you build a bunch of apartments and you have a bunch of transient residents that don’t care as much about having an investment in the community, the schools start eroding.”
Opponents of expanding rail lines also argue that it’s too costly. Toll lanes for buses, ride-hailing services and carpooling are a better fix than rail lines that will take years to build, said Benita Dodd, vice president of the conservative Georgia Public Policy Foundation.
“Nothing is going to work for us as effectively as the automobile,” Dodd said.