Transit users in Atlanta are getting a very visible reminder of what proposed cuts to service might mean to them—giant red Xs painted across buses that are due to be taken out of service. The city’s MARTA system is under severe financial stress and may have to cut 30 per cent of its routes. But what this will mean to the city’s working poor? Almost 50 per cent of the systems 100,000 daily users say they have no other form of transportation. Sadly, the cuts are part of a much wider recession-driven trend: a recent survey found that 80 per cent of US transit systems are in the midst of raising fares, cutting services, or both, in an effort to balance the books.
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