Marta Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, more commonly referred to as the MARTA, is the city of Atlanta’s rapid transit system. Constructed in 1971 as a bus system, over the years the MARTA has expanded to include a rail system as well. The rail system is comprised of approximately 48 miles of track with 38 train stations. Reaching Fulton and DeKalb counties, the MARTA is the 9th largest transit system in the United States. The MARTA also offers limited bus service to Cobb County. In addition, the system features a station at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Clayton County.

The MARTA’s 38 stations includes four service lines: the North-South Line, the East-West Line, the Northeast-South Line, and the Proctor Creek Line. All four lines intersect at the Five Points Station.

The MARTA’s bus system, however, offers its services to a much wider region, reaching areas not only in Fulton and DeKalb counties, but also in Roswell and Alpharetta in North Fulton and some areas in South DeKalb. All of the bus lines also intersect with the MARTA’s railway stations.

Using the MARTA is fairly simple. For $1.75, a passenger can purchase a one-way ticket which allows for free transfers between bus and railway services. In other words, you can take the bus to a train station in order to get to your final destination without incurring charges in addition to your ticket price.

Alternatively, MARTA passengers have a wide variety of options when it comes to purchasing tickets. A 7-day pass is available for $13.00 and offers customers unlimited travel for the seven day period. For more frequent MARTA riders, a 30-day pass is available for $52.50. Visitors, do not fear! There are also short-term options available in the form of Weekend Passes which are priced at $9.00 and functions from Friday to Sunday. Furthermore, ten one-way trips are available for a discounted price of $17.50 and twenty-one one-way trips are approximately $30.00.

The MARTA “passes” take the form of “Breeze Cards” which are essentially smart cards that serve as MARTA’s electronic fare. Riders are then able to flexibly add credits to the card at their convenience depending on their unique needs. For visitors or MARTA riders who ride infrequently, opt for the Limited Use Ticket. For more frequent riders, check out the Extended Use Ticket, available for $5.00. These Extended Breeze cards include two one-way trips.

MARTA offers a discounted price of $0.85 for passengers over the age of sixty-give and individuals who receive Medicare benefits. University students can purchase a monthly pass that includes unlimited usage for $40.00. Students in grades K through 12 can purchase weekly passes for $10.00. MARTA staff and employees can also purchase a monthly pass for unlimited usage for $49.50. Discount programs are also available to corporations who wish to sell monthly passes to their employees.

In addition to the fixed-route bus and railway system, MARTA offers shuttles to the Six Flags Over Georgia theme park during the park’s popular summer season. Shuttles are also available to Tuner Field for Atlanta Braves’ baseball games.

Disabled individuals may wish to look into MARTA’s separate paratransit system. However, this system is only available during the hours of operation for the fixed-route systems. An accepted application is required for passangers who wish to utilize the paratransit service and reservations are required before each trip. One-way paratransit tickets are available for $3.50. Even with this discounted service, disabled MARTA riders can also ride the standard bus and trains for free.

Moreover, many MARTA stations offer a variety of parking options for customer convenience. Parking is typically free on a daily basis, but requires some payment for longer-term parking at park and ride lots.

The MARTA system operates 365 days a year and offers its services from 5a.m. to 1a.m. on Monday through Friday. On weekends, holidays, and certain events, the MARTA runs from 5a.m. to 12:30a.m. so be sure to check your calendar before planning your MARTA itinerary.