Is the perennial Republican opposition to mass transit starting to change? House Speaker David Ralston indicated that things may be changing. In a recent interview with the AJC, Speaker Ralston mentioned that both of his Millenial children live in the city and primarily rely on MARTA and Uber to take them around. While it’s great to hear the rhetoric shift toward a more progressive mindset, the House has yet to put dollars where its mouth is.
The reality is that Atlanta needs to change its attitude toward mass transit. Cities have a responsibility to provide functional avenues of transportation between economic hubs in cities. This mandate is among the very few responsibilities that Republicans and Democrats agree on. Except for the hardest right wingers, most people agree that the government should provide roads for us. One of Atlanta’s problems is that its roads do not meet the needs of the people. The connector is always in gridlock, I20 is horrible, and driving in on Peachtree at Piedmont at 5p is impossible.
Millenials want this. The Baby Boomers do not. Perhaps the transportation bill will give a clue as to which constituency controls the political debates for the next 2 years.