Box 4, Folder 15, Document 20

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Confidential Memorandum To: Dan Sweat (i
Collier Gladin

From: Allan K. Sloan

Subject: The Basic CCTP Strategy in Atlanta

This memorandum expresses some of my views on the situation in
Atlanta and our work program over the next month. As you know, we
are supposed to have by November a firm list of candidate projects for
Atlanta for which we will be requesting funds from the $900,000 pool
available for the CCTP consortium in Phase I]. These projects can be
of two kinds. One, specific actions, like the setting up of a shuttle
bus service or undertaking a busways demonstration, or planning pro-
jects, like a project to develop the CAS technical work program or
to help AATS develop some kind of interim planning framework. Apparently
we will have quite a bit of latitude in describing the scope of Phase II
projects. My own view is that it would make sense to come in with a
series of actions for Atlanta, ranging from immediate ribbon-cutting
projects to short- and medium-range program planning that would indi-
cate Atlanta's strong intention to make basic improvements and move
their long-range transportation program ahead. We hope to have at the
end of Phase I] a package of actions and planning programs for Atlanta
which can be funded out of UMTA resources including demonstration funds,
capital grants, technical studies, and others.

The list of six projects we developed for our first discussions with you
back in September were basically designed to fulfill the key requirements
of this November deadline. As you recall, there were three action pro-
jects: (I) the shuttle bus people-mover experiment; (2) the busways ex-
periment; and (3) the center city bus circulation imorovements which has
evolved into some analysis either of bus service routing and scheduling in
central Atlanta or an analysis of the fiscal structure of Atlanta transit with
particular regard to the immediate problem of deadline on the current fare

The planning projects were generally of two sorts; (I) the development
of data base and development planning for the CAS program in whatever
form would be appropriate for the CCTP team to help, and (2) the develop-
ment of a transit policy and program which would assist AATS, MARTA, the
City, in an intermediate range actions out of the basic plan that is adopted.
This should vie a clean idea of exactly what Atlanta expects to be doing in
areas where their participation is essential over the next 3 to 5 years. We
have not discussed this latter project at any length; but in my own opinion,
this could be one of the most important results of the CCT project, for it
would help UMTA develop the kind of program they d esperately need in order
to be able to intelligently get funds from Congress.

Dan Sweat, Collier Gladin -2- October 15, 1969

They certainly must have some kind of sensible program that each city has

in mind, so that they can give more than just generalized rhetoric when going
to Congress to request more funds. If they were armed with a specific package
of things which cities themselves had thought through and were willing to go
with and implement, there could be no better demonstration of the need for
federal funding. It also makes the whole process of planning with federal funds
in mind much more realistic.

These six projects have been discussed in various forms with people in
~ Atlanta since the beginning of Phase Il. | would like to give you briefly
my view of where each of these projects stand at the present time.

|. The shuttle bus demonstration project. Everyone, including the
CCT project, agrees that this should be the key kick-off project
for Atlanta. It is a good one, and is something which can move
quickly. We have been assuming that the initiative for this pro-
ject lies with ATS, and we understand that they are getting
material ready in which to make an application to Washington to
UMTA for this project which would in this state require a capital
grant to purchase new buses. We have been assuming that our
roll would be to monitor the course of the project as it develops,
with a particular view to seeing what expansion of this kind of
shuttle service makes sense, both in terms of new areas to be ser-
ved and new types of hardware that can be implemented. This,
we think, will be extremely important, because in this way we can
actually test whether intercepting highway traffic outside the central
district into large parking facilities and shuttling people in with some
quick service into the core downtown area will really make sense as
an interim and longer term solution to some of the city's problems.
We need some guidance as to how the CCT project team can relate
to this project and develop the monitoring orocedures.

2. Busways demonstration project. As you know, my feeling has always
been that the key to Atlanta's thinking which we identified in
Phase | which is of particular interest nationally is experimenting
with a busways system, particularly to link the center city with ex-
panding residential areas. We must keep in mind that running a
bus on an exclusive right of way anywhere in the metropolitan region
should not be the focus of our study . We should use such a demon-
stration to see if it really can provide suitable service to the downtowns
of fast-growing medium-sized cities that may be in the position of need-
ing some form of rapid transit service which is not as expensive or as
difficult to construct as a complete rail rapid transit system. | think we
all recognize that this is a controversial situation in Atlanta now and
that MARTA must make the ultimate decision on what kind of system it
should proceed with. We understand that there people advising MARTA
who feel that a rail systems is the only one that would really make sense
in the long run, and that busways in the short run would not make sense

Dan Sweat, Collier Gladin -3- October 15, 1969

if you have to invest in a long term rail system. We also understand
that there are those who feel that the busway system would be the

best for Atlanta in the long run, particularly to serve the East-West
Corridor. We have no desire to take an active role in this debate

which we think must be a local debate ‘and should focus on the parties
that are already dealing with this work technically. However, we feel
quite strongly that if Atlanta decides to adopt a busway system, we
could play a significant role in developing experimental programs of
national importance, for a busway system might be exactly what these
medium-sized cities need. Such systems could be designed to serve
low-density areas without requiring a transfer of most riders from a car
toa rail transit vehicle. Thus its economics might not have to rely on
high density corridor development and could have much more flexibil ity
in terms of its service. Clearly, we may need different kinds of vehicles
and the standard image of bus service must be changed, but it seems to
me that these are technically solvable problems.

However, this particular project which started out to be the allstar
candidate in Atlanta we have held in abeyance, pending decisions
on the part of MARTA as to what kind of systems they are going to
advocate. As you know, | feel badly about this situation, because

| had hoped that Atlanta would be in the mood to experiment with
this kind of system. Indeed, in the Spring it looked very much as if
that were feasible. However, the CCT team will wait for MARTA to
make its basic position clear before doing anything of this kind.

Bus service improvements. Originally, this project started out with
the focus on immediate improvements to the circulation system in the
central Atlanta area. The CCT team would assist by doing whatever
technical work was required to develop an immediate action program.
However, in discussions with various people, we decided that it would
not make sense to use the CCT team effort to duplicate the topics pro-
gram. We then developed the notion that confining this circulation
study to bus service in the central area might be more appropriate and
useful. This idea was pushed by Bob Bivens but Bill Maynard seemed
to feel that this would not be the most useful thing that could be done.
Maynard suggested that we might turn this project into an evaluation
ATS's current face problem particularly to evaluate whether abatement
of local taxes on ATS would be a feasible area of cost elimination in
order to keep the fare from going higher. Clearly, Bill was in the
position of wanting to use the CCT team fo test out one of his pet ideas.
The way this project was left is that we have agreed to get back with
Maynard and the ATS people to explore exactly what such an analysis
would involve before making any commitments. We have not yet done
this and we are particularly anxious to see whether this is something
that the various interest in Atlanta are wishing to explore as a part of |

Dan Sweat, Collier Gladin -4- October 15, 1969

the Phase II program. | have pointed out a number of time that this
kind of financial analysis is something that the other cities have in-
cluded as part of the Phase || program thinking, but | think that there
are a number of issues that we should try to identify and decide on
before this becomes a hot candidate. Of particular importance is the
position on city tax abatement. If it has any reservations about want-
ing this studied, we should certaily know that before we go further
with the project.

The CAS program. Originally, we proposed that the CCT project

undertake helping CASS with two elements of its program: (I) the
development of a system to improve the data base, an item we thought

was extremely important from the national point of view because through-
out the country there are no growing cities that really have a good fix

on the nature of the dynamics of what has happened in the central areas,
and (2) to develop sketch planning framework with particular emphasis

on circulation improvements needed over various time periods. These
projects are the ones to which we have devoted the most time in Phase I]

to date. We have had many more meetings and discussions on these than
any of the others, and | think we are making good progress. The basic

idea now is that we should try to help the CAS program develop a general
framework for the particular kind of program improvements that are being
considered in Atlanta at the present time and that the work we should do
would help fit in to the particular program for which UMTA funds have
been requested by CASS. We are currently going through the process of
reviewing the CASS work program with Don Ingram and Tony Frey and

hope to come up from this exercise with a good view about where the CCT
team members can contribute to the CAS work program. Perhaps we can
even start doing some of the technical work even before CAS has received
its own funds. My own view is that CASS and the CCT team should get
together and try to do two things at the present time: (I) to develop a

sketch plan of circulation improvements for central Atlanta that are put

into some kind of time frame. The notion behind this would be to develop
an agenda of various improvements that people have been considering over
time as being needed for central Atlanta, ranging from immediate service
improvements that will be required when a subway is eventually constructed
in Peachtree Street and a whole series of changes in the nature of central
Atlanta will result. This exercise would have two purposes. One would be
to try to provide a decent rationale for thinking through the specific action
projects that are proposed either under the CCTP banner or under Atlanta's
general program and to provide a good rationale for requests that will go into
UMTA. The second purpose of this would be to provide a specific focus for
the analytical and data base development program that the CASS study should
eventually generate. By having this agenda of projects, we would have a
good idea of what kind of plan and program alternatives and to develop the -
kind of feasibility analysis that everyone will require before final decisions
can be made on these projects. Our view has consistently been that the CAS

Dan Sweat, Collier Gladin -5- October 15, 1969

program is a good example of the kind of program that UMTA does
need to provide to fill in the gaps of the regional transportation
planning process.

5. The intermediate range transit program idea we have not really
discussed with anyone. However, it has become clear to me over the
past few weeks that Atlanta needs to develop almost immediately a
statement of the roles that various of your transportation planning and
operating agencies play and how they are interrelated. This will give
you a much needed explanation that the federal agencies require in
order to fund your programs. It is apparent that they are having a
difficult time sorting out who does what in Atlanta.

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