Mass transit advocates hope for boost from highway collapse


ATLANTA (AP) — A collapsed interstate in the heart of Atlanta has highlighted the region’s reliance on cars and the limitations of a transit system serving the city’s core.

Ever since Atlanta’s mostly white suburban counties refused to join the city’s new public rail and bus system before its 1971 startup, issues of race and class have played a role in shaping local transportation policy. At the time, whites were moving out of the city in droves.

Transit advocates hope the Interstate 85 collapse will convince people that transit expansion is a long-term solution to Atlanta’s gridlock. Ridership already has gone up 20 percent since the collapse of a bridge used by 250,000 vehicles each day.

But opposition to transit expansion remains strong in some parts of the region.

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