History & Past Accomplishments
Citizens for Progressive Transit has been fortunate to attract many talented volunteers and active, engaged citizens of the community. Through your efforts, we have made some progress towards our goals.
§ Save MARTA Campaign
Citizens for Progressive Transit initiated the “Save MARTA” campaign in April 2004, in response to the announcement of impending MARTA service cutbacks due to inadequate funding. Please see the accompanying press release. We hosted a campaign kick-off meeting where we gave a presentation on the why, what, and how of the MARTA funding crisis with representatives of local organizations, government, and the public. Following the kick-off, we began extensive public outreach via neighborhood planning unit meetings, special events, and festivals. We spoke to attendees and asked them to endorse state and regional public transit funding via signed postcards or statements from the entire planning unit. We have educated thousands of Atlanta residents, workers, and public transit riders about the benefits of public transit and provided opportunities for them to show support for public transit in Atlanta.
§ Students for Progressive Transit
We chartered groups at three universities (State, Tech, and Emory) and organized as part of existing student urban policy club at a third (the AUC).
Students are active on campus in efforts to get more students to try transit, working with university officials to make their campus more transit-accessible, and with efforts to impact policy decisions by transit providers, mostly MARTA, and by local policymakers, such as planning agency board members or the MARTA oversight committee members.
We plan to create intern work plans for student internships from each school, expand to have a presence at all major universities in metro Atlanta and include at least one university in each major city in Georgia.
CfPT worked to become a reliable source on transit issues for the local daily newspaper. Articles were written in local neighborhood papers and alternative weekly on transit issues and our group as well. We have written two opinion pieces for the local daily. We created a website, became local resource for transit news in the media, and got links placed on other websites to ours.
We are working on a major website update with additional content and tools to make the site more interactive. Currently, the site includes a calendar with monthly citizen activist opportunities, public hearings, and meetings. The main page is transit web log where members can post their analysis of local transit initiatives and projects.
CfPT plans to launch a sister site with mass transit information from a historical perspective. We will continue to be engaged in local discussion of transit-related events and projects in the media. We are also working on Public Service Announcements to spread message on local radio stations and public television.
§ Educational activities and events
CfPT purchased the film rights to show a documentary on streetcars, Taken for a Ride. We held a fundraiser that included discussion by a Georgia Tech professor following the initial showing of Taken for a Ride.
CfPT holds monthly meetings to allow new riders and old to share ideas, experiences and encouragement. We organized a film contest with a transit theme to stimulate public discussion of transit issues – the winners will be shown at our Martinis and Transit event July 26th.
§ The Coalition for Livable Communities
CfPT participated in creating a coalition of groups interested in quality of life issues. The Coalition held a press conference during 2004 round of service cuts to protest and call for state operating funds. CfPT attended other groups’ events and helped spread the message that transit is an important aspect of livable communities.
The Coalition meets monthly to plan coordinated response to events. Most recently, the primary focus has been the Institutional Analysis being conducted on behalf of the Atlanta Regional Commission.
§ Public outreach
CfPT and the Sierra Club worked together to get postcards stating support for transit signed by riders and other citizens. These postcards were addressed to the governor to show public support.
The Coalition for Livable Communities drafted a declaration supporting state transit operators in their goal of getting state funding for operations. Members of the coalition attended NPU (Neighborhood Planning Unit) meetings for two months to achieve consensus on the statement on transit. All but three NPUs have signed the statement to date.
CfPT disseminated information about proposals to raise MARTA’s fare. Along with our coalition partners, we were able to prevent the fare increase from taking place. Unfortunately, we were not able to stop the service cuts. We continue to work to get service reinstated in the future.
CfPT attended monthly outreach events organized by the Sierra Club to reach new potential transit riders and volunteers.
CfPT attended public hearings to help organize riders. We also organized volunteers to visit spring festivals to educate people on transit issues.
We hope to organize riders at stations and on particular routes to make improvements specific to their areas’ needs.
Please continue to support our efforts. We welcome any comments or suggestions you have. Send your coments or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org