Economic Impacts of MARTA
Carl Vinson Institure of Government, The University of Georgia, July, 2012
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) engaged the University of Georgia, Carl Vinson Institute of Government to conduct a study of the impacts of MARTA on the economy of the Atlanta metropolitan area and the state of Georgia, with a particular focus on the service delivery region that includes DeKalb and Fulton Counties. The 2012 study updates an earlier 2007, but is considered far more comprehensive because it drew upon a more detailed transportation modeling process and a more nuanced representation of labor market and labor mobility impacts enabled by TREDIS.
The study examined impacts of MARTA’s operating and capital investment spending, but it went beyond just analyzing spending impacts to also evaluate how that investment affected commuting travel and enabled greater labor market access, productivity and economic expansion across the region. It built upon the Georgia Economic Modeling System (GEMS), IMPLAN and TREDIS analysis systems. The first two are input/output models that were applied for consistency with the prior study, as they produce county-level estimates of the economic multiplier effects of local transportation spending. The third economic model (TREDIS) was added for the new study to estimate impacts of transit systems on commuting costs and labor supply (job access).