Vanguard Group Inc Has $5.05 Million Position in BRT Apartments Corp (BRT)

Vanguard Group Inc increased its stake in BRT Apartments Corp (NYSE:BRT) by 26.3% during the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing …

BRT Apartments logoVanguard Group Inc increased its stake in BRT Apartments Corp (NYSE:BRT) by 26.3% during the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 419,502 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 87,390 shares during the quarter. Vanguard Group Inc owned approximately 2.66% of BRT Apartments worth $5,051,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of BRT. Albert D Mason Inc. grew its stake in BRT Apartments by 12.6% during the 3rd quarter. Albert D Mason Inc. now owns 129,320 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,557,000 after acquiring an additional 14,445 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in BRT Apartments by 119.1% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 125,869 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,605,000 after acquiring an additional 68,420 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP purchased a new position in BRT Apartments during the 3rd quarter valued at about $183,000. Panagora Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in BRT Apartments during the 3rd quarter valued at about $742,000. Finally, Shell Asset Management Co. purchased a new position in BRT Apartments during the 3rd quarter valued at about $531,000. 31.37% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

BRT has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut BRT Apartments from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 17th. Compass Point initiated coverage on BRT Apartments in a research note on Tuesday, January 22nd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $13.50 target price on the stock. Finally, B. Riley reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of BRT Apartments in a research note on Tuesday, January 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $14.88.

NYSE:BRT traded up $0.05 on Tuesday, hitting $13.20. 3 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 30,171. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.80, a current ratio of 1.42 and a quick ratio of 1.42. BRT Apartments Corp has a 1 year low of $10.20 and a 1 year high of $14.20. The stock has a market cap of $207.47 million, a PE ratio of 13.56 and a beta of 0.56.

BRT Apartments (NYSE:BRT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The financial services provider reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.12) by $0.63. The business had revenue of $31.44 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.61 million. BRT Apartments had a return on equity of 8.60% and a net margin of 20.77%. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that BRT Apartments Corp will post 0.86 earnings per share for the current year.

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BRT Apartments Profile

BRT is a real estate investment trust that owns, operates and develops multi-family properties. Interested parties are urged to review the Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended September 30, 2018 for further details. The Form 10-K can also be linked through the “Investor Relations” section of BRT’s website.

Further Reading: What is the Ex-Dividend Date in Investing?

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding BRT?Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for BRT Apartments Corp (NYSE:BRT).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for BRT Apartments (NYSE:BRT)

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Towerview Has Lowered Its Holding in Brt Apartments Com (BRT) by $1.93 Million as Stock …

… now posted revenue growth for the second quarter in a row; 21/03/2018 – IBM Watson, Mastercard, Walmart, CBS and PepsiCo Executives to Speak …

BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT) Logo

Wagner Bowman Management Corp increased its stake in Ibm (IBM) by 116.01% based on its latest 2018Q3 regulatory filing with the SEC. Wagner Bowman Management Corp bought 2,370 shares as the company’s stock declined 16.83% with the market. The institutional investor held 4,413 shares of the computer manufacturing company at the end of 2018Q3, valued at $667,000, up from 2,043 at the end of the previous reported quarter. Wagner Bowman Management Corp who had been investing in Ibm for a number of months, seems to be bullish on the $102.72 billion market cap company. The stock decreased 0.66% or $0.75 during the last trading session, reaching $113.03. About 5.12M shares traded. International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) has declined 21.12% since December 30, 2017 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 21.12% the S&P500. Some Historical IBM News: 17/04/2018 – IBM Reports Loss but Higher Revenue; 20/03/2018 – IBM TO REITERATE 2018 OPERATING NON-GAAP EPS; 26/04/2018 – WhiteSource Launches Contextual Pattern Matching Engine, Supporting Over 200 Programming Languages; 22/03/2018 – Accenture has spent more than $3 billion over the last three, years nearly half of it in fiscal 2017 on some 70 acquisitions, to boost its digital and cloud services in order to compete better with Cognizant and IBM; 17/04/2018 – IBM has now posted revenue growth for the second quarter in a row; 21/03/2018 – IBM Watson, Mastercard, Walmart, CBS and PepsiCo Executives to Speak at the ARF’s CONSUMERxSClENCE; 14/03/2018 – EV GROUP & IBM SIGN LICENSE PACT ON LASER DEBONDING TECHNOLOGY; 17/04/2018 – IBM 1Q Systems Rev $1.5B; 29/03/2018 – Moody’s Affirms Seven Classes of GSMS 2017-GS5; 13/03/2018 – DomainTools Joins IBM Security App Exchange Community

Towerview Llc decreased its stake in Brt Apartments Corp Com (BRT) by 39.29% based on its latest 2018Q3 regulatory filing with the SEC. Towerview Llc sold 161,100 shares as the company’s stock declined 9.66% with the market. The institutional investor held 248,900 shares of the real estate investment trusts company at the end of 2018Q3, valued at $3.00M, down from 410,000 at the end of the previous reported quarter. Towerview Llc who had been investing in Brt Apartments Corp Com for a number of months, seems to be less bullish one the $182.59 million market cap company. The stock increased 0.78% or $0.09 during the last trading session, reaching $11.59. About 19,759 shares traded. BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT) has risen 1.80% since December 30, 2017 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 1.80% the S&P500. Some Historical BRT News: 07/03/2018 SENZAGEN AB SENZA.ST – BRT WILL MARKET AND PROVIDE GARD IN US AND PERFORM TEST IN ITS LABORATORY IN NORTH CAROLINA; 20/03/2018 – Sen Finance Cmte: Hatch Outlines Pro-Jobs, Pro-America Trade Strategy at BRT; 08/05/2018 – BRT Apartments 2Q Adj FFO/Share 26 Cents; 22/04/2018 – DJ BRT Apartments Corp, Inst Holders, 1Q 2018 (BRT); 08/05/2018 – BRT Apartments 2Q EPS $1.75; 13/03/2018 – BRT Apartments Corp. Raises Quarterly Dividend Approximately 11.1%; 08/05/2018 – BRT Apartments 2Q Net $25.2M; 21/05/2018 – BRT APARTMENTS CORP – AN ENTITY IN WHICH IT HAS A 50% EQUITY INTEREST ACQUIRED LANDINGS OF CARRIER PARKWAY FOR $30.8 MLN; 21/05/2018 – BRT Apartments Corp. Acquires 281-Unit Value Add Property in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas; 21/05/2018 – BRT APARTMENTS CORP – MORTGAGE DEBT MATURES IN 2028, CARRIES AN INTEREST RATE OF 4.37% AND IS INTEREST ONLY UNTIL 2023

Investors sentiment decreased to 2.67 in Q3 2018. Its down 2.00, from 4.67 in 2018Q2. It is negative, as 5 investors sold BRT shares while 10 reduced holdings. 13 funds opened positions while 27 raised stakes. 4.92 million shares or 44.11% less from 8.80 million shares in 2018Q2 were reported. Vanguard Gp holds 0% or 419,502 shares in its portfolio. Ativo Mgmt Ltd holds 0.32% or 99,094 shares. State Of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D owns 95,000 shares. First Manhattan invested in 0.01% or 214,827 shares. Tower Capital Limited Liability Corp (Trc) invested 0% in BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT). Panagora Asset Management owns 61,609 shares for 0% of their portfolio. 681,274 were accumulated by Renaissance Tech Ltd Liability Com. Deutsche Fincl Bank Ag, Germany-based fund reported 97,257 shares. The Ohio-based Strs Ohio has invested 0% in BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT). Intl Group holds 5,988 shares or 0% of its portfolio. Bancorporation Of Montreal Can accumulated 63 shares. California Employees Retirement Systems stated it has 13,549 shares or 0% of all its holdings. Blackrock Inc invested in 812,994 shares. Acadian Asset Management Lc holds 0% of its portfolio in BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT) for 55,138 shares. State Common Retirement Fund invested in 9,100 shares.

More notable recent BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT) news were published by: Globenewswire.com which released: “BRT Apartments Corp. Completes Sale of The Apartments at Venue – GlobeNewswire” on March 01, 2018, also Globenewswire.com with their article: “BRT Apartments Corp. Acquires 281-Unit Value Add Property in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas – GlobeNewswire” published on May 21, 2018, Benzinga.com published: “31 Stocks Moving In Wednesday’s Pre-Market Session – Benzinga” on December 12, 2018. More interesting news about BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT) were released by: Globenewswire.com and their article: “BRT Apartments Corp. Acquires 208-Unit Value Add Property in Daytona Beach, Florida – GlobeNewswire” published on May 02, 2018 as well as Seekingalpha.com‘s news article titled: “BRT Apartments Is Betting Heavily On Further Upside – Seeking Alpha” with publication date: September 18, 2018.

Among 3 analysts covering BRT Apartments (NYSE:BRT), 2 have Buy rating, 0 Sell and 1 Hold. Therefore 67% are positive. BRT Apartments had 4 analyst reports since September 29, 2017 according to SRatingsIntel. Janney Capital initiated BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT) rating on Friday, September 29. Janney Capital has “Neutral” rating and $10.50 target. The stock has “Buy” rating by FBR Capital on Thursday, October 26.

More notable recent International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) news were published by: Cnbc.com which released: “After-hours buzz: Aphria, IBM and P&G – CNBC” on December 27, 2018, also Fool.com with their article: “Why VMware Stock Jumped 18.4% in November – The Motley Fool” published on December 06, 2018, Prnewswire.com published: “IBM Study: Blockchain Brings Trust to How Companies, Consumers and Cars Connect – PRNewswire” on December 12, 2018. More interesting news about International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) were released by: Fool.com and their article: “Stock Market Power Rankings: Dreaming of an Amazon Christmas – Motley Fool” published on December 30, 2018 as well as Fool.com‘s news article titled: “3 Top Blockchain Stocks to Watch in December – The Motley Fool” with publication date: December 13, 2018.

Since August 3, 2018, it had 5 insider purchases, and 1 sale for $426,695 activity. $114,673 worth of International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) was bought by OWENS JAMES W on Wednesday, October 31. On Friday, November 2 the insider Rometty Virginia M bought $998,835. 2,000 shares were bought by Swedish Joseph, worth $232,838 on Thursday, November 1. Gherson Diane J also sold $1.67M worth of International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) on Friday, August 3. TAUREL SIDNEY bought $495,846 worth of stock.

International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) Institutional Positions Chart

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JMP Securities Got BRT Apartments (BRT) Covered with $16.0 Target.

30,000 were accumulated by State Of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D. Renaissance Technologies has invested 0% in BRT Apartments Corp.

June 29, 2018 – By Megan Stone

BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT) Corporate Logo

During 2018 Q1 the big money sentiment increased to 4.5. That’s change of 2.17, from 2017Q4’s 2.33. 1 investors sold all, 5 reduced holdings as BRT Apartments Corp. ratio increased. 11 rose stakes while 16 funds acquired stakes. Funds hold 6.65 million shares thus 135.26% more from 2017Q4’s 2.83 million shares.

Invesco Limited holds 0% or 12,369 shs in its capital. Eam Investors Ltd Llc reported 0.1% stake. 30,000 were accumulated by State Of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D. Renaissance Technologies has invested 0% in BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT). Dimensional Fund Advisors Limited Partnership stated it has 13,087 shs or 0% of all its holdings. Moreover, Great West Life Assurance Can has 0% invested in BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT). Schnieders Management Llc stated it has 20,749 shs. Vanguard Group Incorporated Inc, a Pennsylvania-based fund reported 115,468 shs. Lesa Sroufe & reported 20,000 shs or 0.18% of all its holdings. Manufacturers Life Insurance The holds 0% of its capital in BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT) for 183 shs. Stifel Corp, a Missouri-based fund reported 48,237 shs. Clarivest Asset Management Limited Liability holds 0% or 9,756 shs. Albert D Mason holds 20,410 shs. United Kingdom-based Barclays Plc has invested 0% in BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT). Towerview Limited Liability holds 450,104 shs.

BRT Apartments Corp. registered $98,168 net activity with 0 insider purchases and 1 sale since June 20, 2018.

What Price Target Has JMP Securities Given BRT Apartments (BRT)

After JMP Securities’s $16.0 TP was issued to investors and clients on Thursday morning, the firm has started coverage of the BRT Apartments (BRT)‘s stock. The financial company set a Mkt Outperform rating of BRT.

BRT is reaching $13.11 during the last trading session, after increased 1.24%.BRT Apartments Corp. is uptrending after having risen 56.20% since June 29, 2017. BRT has 111,404 volume or 143.03% up from normal. BRT outperformed by 43.63% the S&P 500.

BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT)’s quarterly earnings will be published on August, 14., RTT reports. Analysts predict $0.24 earnings per share, which is $0.01 up or 4.35 % from 2017’s $0.23 earnings per share. BRT’s profit could reach $3.44 million with 13.66 P/E in case $0.24 earnings per share is published. Wall Street sees -4.00 % negative EPS growth as of August, 14.

BRT is a real estate investment trust that owns, operates and develops multi-family properties.The firm is valued at $188.04 million. Interested parties are urged to review the Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 and the supplemental disclosures regarding the quarter on the investor relations section of the Company’s website at: http://brtapartments.com/investor_relations for further details.5.55 is the P/E ratio. The Form 10-Q can also be linked through the ?Investor Relations? section of BRT’s website.

Another two news for BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT) were briefly released by: Streetinsider.com on June 28, 2018 with title “JMP Securities Starts BRT Apartments (BRT) at Market Outperform”. The other Globenewswire.com‘s article was titled “BRT Apartments Corp. Declares Quarterly Dividend” and released on June 12, 2018.

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BRT Apartments Corp (NYSE:BRT) dividends will reach $0.20 on Jul 6, 2018, and this is why.

Acadian Asset Management Limited Liability stated it has 57,032 shares or 0% of all its holdings. Barclays Public Ltd Co reported 1,500 shares.

June 21, 2018 – By Maria Brooks

BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT) LogoInvestors sentiment increased to 4.5 in 2018 Q1. Its up 2.17, from 2.33 in 2017Q4. It improved, as 1 investors sold BRT Apartments Corp. shares while 5 reduced holdings. 16 funds opened positions while 11 raised stakes. 6.65 million shares or 135.26% more from 2.83 million shares in 2017Q4 were reported.

Schnieders Capital Mgmt Limited Liability accumulated 20,749 shares or 0.11% of the stock. Manufacturers Life Ins The holds 183 shares or 0% of its portfolio. Natl Bank Of Ny Mellon Corporation stated it has 72,886 shares or 0% of all its holdings. Lesa Sroufe Com owns 20,000 shares or 0.18% of their US portfolio. Morgan Stanley invested 0% in BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT). Millennium Management Ltd Liability Corp reported 67,226 shares. Altfest L J has invested 0.44% in BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT). Acadian Asset Management Limited Liability stated it has 57,032 shares or 0% of all its holdings. Barclays Public Ltd Co reported 1,500 shares. Geode Capital Ltd Co owns 208,311 shares. Commercial Bank Of America Corp De stated it has 0% of its portfolio in BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT). Blackrock Inc reported 404,897 shares stake. Renaissance Technology has 0% invested in BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT). Albert D Mason Inc stated it has 20,410 shares or 0.18% of all its holdings. 30,000 were accumulated by State Of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D.

BRT Apartments Corp (NYSE:BRT) is expected to pay $0.20 on Jul 6, 2018. Shareholders owning the stock before Jun 22, 2018 will be eligible to receive the payout. Based on BRT Apartments Corp’s current price of $13.12, the dividend is 1.52 %. This dividend’s record date is Jun 25, 2018 and the announcement date is Jun 12, 2018. The stock increased 0.77% or $0.1 during the last trading session, reaching $13.12. About 118,941 shares traded or 332.75% up from the average. BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT) has risen 56.20% since June 21, 2017 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 43.63% the S&P500.

BRT Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust , owns, operates, and develops multi-family properties in the United States. The company has market cap of $188.18 million. It operates through two divisions, Multi-Family Real Estate and Other Real Estate. It has a 5.56 P/E ratio. The firm also owns, operates, and develops commercial, mixed use, and other real estate assets.

Another recent and important BRT Apartments Corp. (NYSE:BRT) news was published by Globenewswire.com which published an article titled: “BRT Apartments Corp. Declares Quarterly Dividend” on June 12, 2018.

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Atlanta Takes a Gamble on Transit Expansion Despite Declining Use

Think Uber and Lyft Are Killing Transit? … a phenomenon fueled by the rise of telecommuting, ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft and other factors.

(TNS) – Ryan Esslinger would love to take MARTA more often. But the Dunwoody resident is using transit less, not more.

He sometimes catches a train to the airport or an Atlanta United game. But he seldom takes MARTA to work in Buckhead anymore. He can drive it in 30 minutes or less. Using MARTA takes 45 minutes, in part because he has to drive two miles to the nearest station.

“I could take the train,” Esslinger said. “But I’m already in the car.”

Esslinger isn’t the only MARTA customer who’s found other ways to get around. Transit use in metro Atlanta and across the country is declining – a phenomenon fueled by the rise of telecommuting, ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft and other factors. The number of passenger trips on MARTA trains and buses fell 22 percent over the last decade, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of federal transit data found.

Even as their customer base shrinks, MARTA and other local transit agencies are planning what critics say is an ill-advised building boom. Critics say it makes no sense to build expensive transit lines when fewer people are using them. Supporters say more transit is needed to address metro Atlanta’s awful traffic congestion.

MARTA plans to build 21 miles of light rail and 18 miles of bus rapid transit lines. Gwinnett County may extend MARTA rail service to Norcross. Fulton, Cobb and DeKalb counties also are mulling transit expansions.

Benita Dodd, vice president of the fiscally conservative Georgia Public Policy Foundation, said fewer people are using transit because they have more and better options. She said it’s a bad idea to spend billions of dollars on new rail lines when ride-hailing services and autonomous vehicles may transform America’s transportation network in coming decades.

“It’s a huge mistake to take two steps back into 19th-century technology when there’s so much promising technology in front of us,” Dodd said.

Others say traffic congestion will only get worse as the region adds millions of new residents, and roads alone can’t handle them.

“Transportation systems just can’t be structured so that all five million of us can get from Point A to Point B in our preferred way (cars),” said Lee Biola, president of Citizens for Progressive Transit. “It’s physically impossible.”

Experts say declining transit use is a sign that big changes are coming to the industry – including new technology and more private-sector involvement – just as Atlanta is placing a $2.5 billion bet on the traditional model of public transportation.

A changing transit landscape

In 2008, the nation was reeling from the Great Recession, and MARTA’s business was booming.

Gas prices topped $4 a gallon. People who couldn’t afford to drive suddenly found transit a viable option. MARTA ridership soared 8 percent to nearly 159 million trips that year.

A decade later, MARTA faces a very different landscape.

Gas prices, though rising, are well below 2008 levels. The economy is booming, and many people with more cash in their pockets have abandoned buses and trains for cars.

“Transit is just simply not the preferred means of travel” for most people, said Steven Polzin of the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida.

Beyond cyclical factors like the economy, Polzin said fundamental changes have taken a toll on public transportation.

More people are working at home instead of commuting. They’re shopping online instead of traveling to the store. They’re hailing an Uber or Lyft or using a shared bike instead of catching a bus.

As a result, transit ridership fell 7.1 percent nationwide over the last three years even as service expanded, according to Polzin’s research.

MARTA ridership peaked in 2008 and has fallen for most of the last decade, the AJC analysis found. It fell 2.6 percent last year to 124.4 million trips despite the collapse of the I-85 bridge, which temporarily sent many commuters scrambling aboard trains and buses.

Transit use fell 4 percent in Gwinnett County last year and 7 percent in Cobb, the analysis found.

Transit officials say some of the decline was caused by reduced service or increased fares. But safety and reliability concerns also discourage some potential riders.

Bobby Mercado of Candler Park used to catch a MARTA train to work in downtown Decatur. But he said late trains sometimes kept him waiting in the scorching heat of summer or the freezing cold of winter.

MARTA says its trains are on time 97 percent of the time. But CEO Jeffrey Parker said occasional problems make an impression on customers.

“When it’s that 3 percent, and it goes really, really bad, I’m going to remember that for a long time,” Parker said.

MARTA buses – which get stuck in traffic like other vehicles – have an on-time rate of 78 percent.

Demands for more service

Some transit customers want more service.

Lakeyia Graham of Jonesboro uses MARTA to get to her job in Sandy Springs. The bus stops outside her apartment complex, but it runs only once an hour. And it takes two hours by bus and train to get to work.

Now she sometimes takes an Uber to work. The trip can cost $25, but she sometimes gets discounted fares. And it takes only 30 to 40 minutes.

Graham said many residents appreciate MARTA’s 2015 expansion into Clayton County. But she said more frequent bus service or additional routes would make her commute easier.

“Before they had it, a lot of people were stuck,” she said. “But the buses are always packed. Can we just revamp it a little bit?”

Transit officials say the complaint they hear most is that trains and buses don’t go where people want to go. That’s where expansion plans come in.

In 2016, Atlanta voters approved a half-penny sales tax that’s expected to generate $2.5 billion for transit construction over 40 years.

MARTA recently unveiled its plans for spending that money. The projects include:

  • Twenty-one miles of light rail lines, including the Clifton Corridor from Lindbergh Station to the Emory/CDC area and a third of the Atlanta Beltline.
  • Eighteen miles of bus rapid transit lines.
  • Three arterial rapid transit bus lines.
  • Two new bus transfer centers, plus improvements to numerous MARTA stations.

Dodd, of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, said bus rapid transit – cheaper and more flexible than rail – could be a good investment. But she said rail service is too expensive and takes so long to build that Atlanta’s light rail network may be obsolete by the time it’s completed and paid for.

Polzin, the transportation researcher, said 21 miles of new rail “is certainly not out of scale for that community.” But he said rail could be a risky investment, given rapidly changing transportation technology.

An uncertain future

Transit supporters say expansion plans – including rail – make sense.

According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, about 74,000 people use public transportation to get to work in the five largest metro Atlanta counties – about 4.3 percent of workers. That may not sound like much, but it means tens of thousands of fewer cars on the road.

MARTA CEO Parker likened it to difference in traffic many people notice when school is out.

“Removing a little bit of car traffic has a huge impact,” he said.

What’s more, metro Atlanta is expected to add another 2.4 million people by 2040. Supporters say transit must play a big role in keeping traffic manageable.

“What transit is doing is trying to prevent the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Parker said.

Despite declining ridership, Polzin, the transit researcher, also sees a future for public transportation. He said there simply isn’t enough road space to accommodate growing traffic in major metro areas like Atlanta.

Polzin said transit agencies across the country are streamlining bus routes and expanding service on weekends and nights to attract more riders. They’re also improving the quality of service with automated fare payments, apps that provide real-time schedule information and partnerships with ride-hailing services.

MARTA has tried many of those fixes and more in recent years, with mixed results. Ridership rose in 2014-15 before declining again the last two years.

Polzin said transit use nationwide might stabilize in the short term. In the long run, he said public transportation is likely to change dramatically as technology evolves. Exactly how it will change is uncertain, but he said in the future transit services may be provided by a mix of public and private agencies.

Meanwhile, with traffic getting worse, Polzin said transit agencies in places like Atlanta should keep trying to woo riders.

“The pain of congestion is very real,” he said. “These places need strategies and tactics to address it, and transit needs to be a part of that.”

©2018 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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