The 8th largest rapid transit in the United States, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, popularly know as MARTA, is the main operator of public transport in Atlanta, Georgia. The busses came into operation slightly earlier than the metro which began in the year 1979. It has 4 operational lines for the metro and a total of 92 for busses. The 77km long network, covers only 38 rail stations. Extremely accessible to literally all of its customers, it has a daily ridership of 432,900 on weekdays, including the paratransit for the disabled customers.
MARTA Timings, Frequency and Schedule
On weekdays, the trains begins operations at around 05:00 am in the morning and run till nearly 02:00 am, the next morning. On weekends the trains begin operations slightly later at around 06:00 am in the morning, and run till nearly 02:00 am the next day.
The frequency of the trains differ with the day and the time as well. During the peak hours (06:00-09:00 am, 15:00-19:00 pm) the trains have a headway of around 10 minutes. At other times during the day, the trains have a frequency of 15 minutes. On Saturday and Sunday nights after 20:30 pm, the frequency reduces and a train operates every 20 minutes.
For more information on the timings, along with the detailed schedule for each line, you can visit the official website at: http://www.itsmarta.com/rail-schedules-or-route.aspx
MARTA Fares, Tickets and Cards
Riders can purchase Breeze cards on which fare or cash value can be loaded. A fee of $1 is charged for a new card. A single trip costs $2.50. A round trip is for $5.00. 10 trip cards can be purchased for $25.00 and 20 trip cards for $42.50.
Riders can also purchase unlimited day passes. A 7-day pass costs $23.75. The pass provides unlimited rides for a period of seven consecutive days after the first use. A 30 day Pass can be purchased for $95.00 and provides unlimited rides for 30 consecutive days after the first use. Then there are passes for 1-4 days called Day Pass. A 1 Day Pass costs $9.00; a 2 Day Pass costs $14.00, a 3-Day Pass costs $16.00 and a 4-Day Pass is for $19.00. These passes can be purchased from RideStores and Breeze vending machines. Group passes are available and discounts are provided, if the quantity purchased is over 200.
MARTA offers discounts to seniors 65 years of age and older, people with disabilities and people holding Medicare cards. MARTA also provides discounts and benefits to the employees of companies which have collaborated with it, in the form of Employee Pass. The benefits include unlimited rides, cost saving on parking lot maintenance, tax savings etc.
MARTA also collaborates with various colleges and universities, to provide discounts to students and faculty. These can be availed with University Pass. These passes are not sold directly by MARTA, but by the participating universities, colleges and technical schools. For students, this pass costs $68.50 and for Faculty and staff, it can be purchased for $83.80.
Primary and secondary school students can also avail discounts on MARTA, by using Student Pass (K-12).These are sold by the participating schools. 10 trip student passes can be purchased, which are loaded with ten trips and can be used on weekdays on bus and trains. The pass costs $14.40.
Children 46 inches and under in height, can travel for travel with a fare paying adult. The maximum number children that can use the metro service this is two.
For more information on fares, tickets and cards, you can visit the official website at: http://www.itsmarta.com/fares-passes.aspx
The MARTA provides with park and ride facilities for the passengers of the metro. Twenty-three out of the total thirty-eight stations provide this facility. It’s for free when used for less than 24 hours. Long-term parking is also available at some of the stations.
For more information on the park and ride facility offered by the MARTA, you can visit the official website at: http://www.itsmarta.com/parking-information.aspx
MARTA Rules and Tips
There is no restriction posed on carrying bicycles on the metro. However, there are certain safety tips to be kept in mind. Avoid boarding packed trains. Instead of using escalators, use the lift when travelling with a bicycle. Small pets that are in cages and harmless can be carried on the MARTA for free as well.
Before entering a train, provide enough space to let the current passengers exit the train. Never lean on the train doors or try to prevent the doors from closing. For your own safety, to maintain balance holding the railing while on board the train is advisable. Be responsible and look after your own property.
For more information on this, you can visit the official website at: http://www.itsmarta.com/rail-safety-tips.aspx
The rapid transit system consists of 4 main lines and the lines are identified by its colour.
● MARTA Red line – The red line is also known as north-south line and the metro line started operation in 1981. Through this line, the metro operates between North springs and airport station.
● MARTA Gold line – The gold line is former north east-south line and it started operation in 1981. The metro operates between Doraville and airport stations. It serves 18 stations in total.
● MARTA Blue line – The blue line which is former east-west line started operation in 1979. The metro operates between Hamilton E. Holmes and Indian Creek stations. The blue line serves 15 stations.
● MARTA Green line – The green line which is formerly known as Proctor Creek line started operation in 1992. The metro operates between Bankhead and Edgewood stations running inside Atlanta city limits.
MARTA Places of Interest:
Using MARTA, various tourist spots can be visited. The public transportation set up provides access to various attractions, venues and shopping centers. The Atlanta History Center is accessible via the Buckhead station. Similarly, the High Museum of Arts is accessible from the Arts Center. Connectivity to the Georgia Stadium is there through either the Dome, GWCC, Philips Center or the CNN Center. For the shopaholics,the Lenox station provides access to the Lenox Square Mall.
For the complete list, you can visit the official website at: http://www.itsmarta.com/visiting-atlanta.aspx
Map of MARTA Subway showing various lines and stations. Click on the map to enlarge it.