Time to expand MARTA rail

In 2014, when PulteGroup was in the midst of a site selection for a new headquarters, we made it clear that access to transit would be a critical factor for our relocation. Now, we’re firmly planted in Buckhead with convenient access to two MARTA rail stations.

Any CEO’s performance is measured in part by the strength of his/her company’s financial results; however, human capital drives the success of a company. The homebuilding business, like many businesses, is changing rapidly changing and it’s important that our workforce mirrors our customer base.

By making access to MARTA — and bicycle facilities — a priority, PulteGroup has become an even more attractive employer of choice for the next crop of managers and CEOs, the millennial generation.

PulteGroup isn’t the only company to take this approach. State Farm, Mercedes-Benz, AthenaHealth and others have also cited transit access as an important tool to attract diverse, younger talent. The entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ideas this group brings to the workforce is critical to the long-term success of our corporations.

But access to transit options doesn’t just benefit the millennials.

From executives to entry level and in-between, you’ll find PulteGroup employees zipping past bumper-to-bumper traffic on a MARTA train. Even Baby Boomers at our company have personally found transit access to be a value-add in their home and work life.

Mobility affects every aspect of our lives – where we work, where we live and what we’re able to do in between. It’s no secret metro Atlanta is a traffic-choked region — and it’s projected to get worse.

Transportation and the economy remain the top issues facing residents of this region. It’s worth noting that our company moved to metro Atlanta fully understanding the transit dynamics, but also appreciating the opportunities. In other words, we recognize the region’s potential. Just look at what we’ve been able to do with a transit system that’s half the size of our competitor cities.

Since 2013, more than 100 developments have been built within a half-mile of a MARTA rail station. Imagine what a transit expansion will spark. From Alpharetta to Stone Mountain, and hopefully one day in other counties like Gwinnett and Cobb, the possibilities are endless.

Supporting MARTA’s $8 billion expansion in Dekalb and Fulton counties will be critical to attracting quality jobs, managing our region’s growth and effectively moving people from place to place.

For PulteGroup, a MARTA expansion means a more economically competitive metro Atlanta and Georgia.

Competition breeds success. More corporate relocations will attract even more top talent to this region. That’s more quality jobs, more investments in our neighborhoods and a higher standard of living.

When metro Atlanta elects to expand transit, we will all win.

PulteGroup’s economic success is directly tied to attracting future-thinking leadership. So, too, is Metro Atlanta’s success. Now is the time to invest in our future and support a robust MARTA expansion. Like a home, with each passing year of disinvestment, our region will fall into disrepair and runs the risk of losing its place as one of the truly great cities in the world. We can’t let that happen.

Let’s expand MARTA now.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Richard J. Dugas Jr. is president, chairman and CEO of the PulteGroup homebuilding firm.

X