ATLANTA – The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is making operational adjustments beginning Thursday, March 26, to protect the health and wellness of employees as they continue providing essential transit service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, MARTA is making service plan changes to bus and rail operations beginning Monday, March 30, to address the dramatic ridership and revenue decline seen in the wake of this national health crisis.
“MARTA stands by our role as a provider of essential infrastructure. Our frontline employees are everyday heroes who drive buses, run trains, protect our customers, and clean vehicles and stations. I applaud the fortitude and resilience they show every day by coming to work despite the anxiety and uncertainty that has become the new normal,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “While additional operational changes may be forthcoming, we are implementing the following changes to current operations to better protect our staff.”
Beginning March 26, bus customers will enter and exit using the rear doors only, except for customers who require the accessibility ramp. Also, because our Breeze farebox is located at the front door, MARTA is suspending fare collection on buses. For customers transferring to and from the rail system, fares will be paid at the rail stations. MARTA is closing public restrooms at low-utilization rail stations beginning tomorrow. Public restrooms will remain open at College Park, Doraville, Five Points, H.E. Holmes, Indian Creek, Lindbergh, and North Springs rail stations.
Beginning Monday, March 30, MARTA will reduce bus service by approximately 30 percent. All bus routes will continue to operate, but with fewer buses on each route. The exception is on routes with the heaviest ridership; 15, 39, 5, 121, 196, 73, 110, 78, 83, and 89, which will have buses added to help with social distancing. This adjusted plan most closely mirrors MARTA’s inclement weather plan and prioritizes service along major arterial routes and to medical facilities. The plan also allows for weekday level bus service to essential businesses.
Rail service will operate on a weekend schedule beginning Monday, March 30, except for start time which will remain the regular weekday start time to complement bus service. Also, all Red and Gold Line trains will go to the airport, and Green Line trains will turn back at King Memorial. Due to extremely low ridership, MARTA is closing Mercedes-Benz/State Farm Arena/GWCC rail station. Trains will not stop at this rail station beginning Monday. MARTA will perform deep cleaning, repair work, painting, and other small projects at the rail station during this temporary closure. Additionally, the streetcar will operate on a Sunday schedule beginning Monday, March 30.
Updated bus and rail service information will be available on www.itsmarta.com, MARTA’s On The Go app, @MARTASERVICE on Twitter, @MARTAtransit on Facebook, digital boards throughout the system, and communicated through announcements on buses, trains, and at rail stations. Call our Customer Care Center at 404-848-5000 if you have any concerns.