While this disparity between population size of Metro-Atlanta and the efficacy of it’s private and public transit is a relatively modern problem for the city, there are organizations trying to mitigate the negative effects of this gap. One of the most promising of these is the MARTA Army. This grassroots militia’s self-stated vision is: “The Atlanta region has been diagnosed with a bad case of urban sprawl and traffic congestion by urban planners and transportation experts. Our region needs better public transportation to become more accessible, equitable, and competitive. Metro Atlanta’s fragmented governmental institutions still lack the support to build the transit system we need. The initiative for world class transit system must come from citizens. Together, we can show that the Atlanta Region is ready for a world class transit system(‘Vision’).” This mission statement brings up an important point about what is hampering improvement to Atlanta’s transportation fiasco: lack of cooperation between regional governments. One such example is the T-SPLOST referendum that was shot down by voters in July of 2012 that would’ve added a regional sales tax to help pay for improvements to roads and infrastructure (“Special-Purpose …”). Another step forward for Atlantans would be to offer their support to organizations like Renew Atlanta and Smart Growth America. Renew Atlanta is a $250 million program developed by Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta City Council that aims to put a dent in the $900 million backlog of above-ground infrastructure projects in Atlanta (“About Renew Atlanta 2015.”).
Smart Growth America is advocacy group that works with government agencies through coalition building, policy development and research to encourage denser development in order to fight sprawl and make it more affordable for people to live their daily destinations like work (“About Us | Smart Growth …”). Metro-Atlanta is behind by quite a lot in the way of efficient transportation but, hopefully with the help of organizations like these, the city can begin the process of catching up with its rate of population growth.