More MARTA's Bus Improvements Boost Mobility in Midtown
Seven new bus routes and schedule changes have been made in Midtown, increasing connectivity for commuters
Photo courtesy of MARTA.
Like the universe itself, MARTA is expanding. For over a year, the More MARTA initiative has been bringing changes to improve the transportation system’s service and access. More MARTA is a program set to span 40 years and a variety of projects to expand the public transportation system in Atlanta. It is funded by a ½-cent sales tax in the City of Atlanta, which voters approved in 2016.
On October 4, 2018, MARTA and the City of Atlanta agreed to a list of transit projects to be included in the More MARTA Atlanta program. This list is still being refined when it comes to sequencing and financing. It includes arterial rapid transit, station enhancements, transit centers, bus rapid transit and light rail transit. One of More MARTA’s stated goals is to increase mobility for workers to and from major job centers, which includes Midtown.
Although the program’s plans will span decades, More MARTA’s work of improving transit access has already begun: with bus route improvements. Midtown commuters are already seeing an increase in frequency on bus routes. Now, riders who want to get to Ponce City Market need to wait only a maximum of fifteen minutes to get there from North Avenue MARTA Station—and vice versa, thanks to the Route 2 and Route 102 buses. And if riders are going west from North Avenue, they need only wait 20 minutes for the Route 51 bus to take them to West Atlanta. Plus, Route 36 serves Virginia Highland east from the Midtown MARTA Station and recently increased service to every 30 minutes.
The MARTA 40 bus is a new route that takes passengers north and south between West End MARTA Station and the Arts Center MARTA Station on Peachtree Street. | Photo courtesy of MARTA.
Another big change in Midtown is the creation of two new bus routes. Route 14 takes passengers east and west between Midtown Station and Moores Mill Center, stopping at Westside Provisions district. Route 40 is an extension of Route 110 (The Peach), and takes riders north and south between West End MARTA station and Arts Center MARTA Station on the famous Peachtree Street.
The Route 899 community circulator which takes people to the Atlanta Medical Center from North Avenue and Georgia State stations is also a new addition.
These changes are part of a larger plan designed and guided by community input, including NPU meetings, public hearings and a comprehensive operations analysis conducted to create improvements where they will have the most impact.
The MARTA 899 Community Circulator, pictured here at North Avenue MARTA Station, is a smaller bus that operates between North Avenue, King Memorial, and Georgia State Stations and runs every half hour. | Photo courtesy of MARTA.
“The improvements in service levels we’ve had in the City of Atlanta provide for better opportunities to take transit,” said Don Williams, MARTA Director of Short Range Planning.
“For those individuals who may have tried transit in the past and had problems with frequency of service, they will see that that has changed with the More MARTA initiative,” said Williams, referencing the bus route improvements already instituted in Atlanta. “We provide better access to the system, connectivity, and frequency of service.”
These improvements to MARTA provide new opportunities for Midtown employees to save money on gas and parking by ditching their cars and using MARTA to get to work. Williams recommends downloading the MARTA On The Go app to track buses and view train schedules.
Midtown Alliance works with employers to provide employees with discounted transit passes through pre-tax payroll deductions. Learn more about the Transit Pass Program here.
Do you commute to work on the MARTA bus? Share your commuting story here.