Public transit has its merits, but it is not as simple as just build it and people will use it, especially in Atlanta. Transit here has seen its share of problems during recent years, including the discontinuation of services and declining ridership on MARTA. People notice these problems, such as long waits for trains and buses, and may not pay to use transit systems if they are not conducive to their lifestyles.
While an improved and self-sustained public transit system could help mitigate some of our traffic dilemma, it still cannot take the place of automotive transportation for the majority of metro Atlanta’s commuters. This area is just too spread out for that to happen — unlike New York City or Chicago, where many businesses are centralized and can be reached easily by large mass transit systems. We don’t have the population density. The region now considered metro Atlanta spreads over an area of 8,480 square miles, roughly the size of Massachusetts.