49 Facts About MARTA


MARTA operates almost exclusively in Fulton, Clayton, and DeKalb counties, although they maintain bus service to two destinations in neighboring Cobb County, while Doraville station serves portions of Gwinnett County via Gwinnett Transit buses.

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MARTA operates Mobility, a separate paratransit service for disabled customers.

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MARTA was originally proposed as a rapid transit agency for DeKalb, Fulton, Clayton, Gwinnett, and Cobb counties.

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MARTA was formed by an act of the Georgia General Assembly in 1965.

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MARTA is composed of a heavy rail rapid transit system, a light rail system, and a bus system, all of which operate primarily within the boundaries of Fulton, Clayton and DeKalb counties.

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MARTA serves the airport via a station located next to the main terminal.

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MARTA allows bicycles on its trains, and buses have room for two bicycles on racks mounted on the front of the bus.

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Rail and bus operators, station agents, rail maintenance workers, and many other employees of MARTA are represented in negotiations by the Amalgamated Transit Union's Local 732.

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Deepest station in the MARTA system is the Peachtree Center station, which is located in a hard-rock tunnel, 120 feet beneath downtown Atlanta, where the highest hills in Atlanta are 1,100 feet above sea level.

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MARTA switched to a color-based identification system in October 2009.

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MARTA trains are operated using the Automatic Train Control system, with one human operator per train to make announcements, operate doors, and to operate the trains manually in case of a control system malfunction or an emergency.

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MARTA has one bus route providing limited service in Cobb County .

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In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, MARTA provides the Mobility paratransit service for those persons defined as disabled by the ADA.

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MARTA uses 211 special lift-equipped vehicles for this service, and can either deliver passengers to their final destination or can deliver the passenger to the closest accessible bus stop or rail station .

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Average cost to MARTA for providing a one-way trip for an individual Mobility passenger is US$31.

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The Americans with Disabilities Act forbids MARTA from charging a Mobility fare more than twice the normal fixed route fare.

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The district court ruled in 2002 that MARTA had violated the ADA and granted the plaintiffs an injunction requiring MARTA to improve service to the disabled.

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MARTA offers unlimited travel through multiple transit pass options: 24-Hour pass $9,2-day pass $14,3-day pass $16,4-day pass $19,7-day pass $23.

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Additional discounts are available to corporate partners who sell monthly MARTA passes to employees and to groups and conventions visiting Atlanta.

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Some employers provide reduced cost or free MARTA passes to employees to encourage the use of public transportation.

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MARTA finished implementing the "Breeze" smart card electronic fare collection system in September 2006, replacing the previous token-based fare collection system.

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MARTA has stated that this is the case, that inbound and outbound transfers are approximately equal .

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MARTA said the commitment to the tax is needed for the agency to secure long-term financing in the form of bonds to pay for any future expansions to the system.

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MARTA was formed through the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Act of 1965, an act of the Georgia General Assembly.

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The funding restrictions on MARTA were removed in 2015, with the passage of House Bill 213 by the General Assembly.

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In early April 2009, MARTA experienced a budget crisis when the Georgia General Assembly failed to pass a bill that would allow MARTA to access its own capital reserve account, in order to compensate for a severe drop in sales-tax revenue during the late-2000s recession.

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MARTA stated that this could force the agency to discontinue operations one day out of the week, possibly a weekday.

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MARTA is a multi-county authority that is governed by a board of directors, consisting of representatives appointed from the city of Atlanta, and the remainder of the counties of Fulton, Clayton and DeKalb .

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Positions on the MARTA board are directly appointed by the organizations they represent.

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Highest position at MARTA is the general manager and chief executive officer.

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MARTA has had two fatal accidents that resulted in a formal investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

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In 2001 MARTA settled with the families of the two killed workers for US$10.

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On December 31,2007, MARTA had three separate escalator accidents that injured at least 11 people.

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MARTA initially blamed the incidents on rowdy patrons jumping on the escalator.

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MARTA has been criticized for its escalator maintenance policies after recent injuries due to escalators overloading, but has discussed plans to improve its policies and regulate passenger loads with posted station agents.

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MARTA was built with at least three stubs for rail lines that were never built.

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Currently the only recent expansion in the entire MARTA system was the development of bus rapid transit along Memorial Drive from Kensington Station to the Goldsmith Road MARTA park and ride lot in Stone Mountain and Ponce De Leon Avenue.

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The contract with MARTA would go into effect only if a public vote, that was scheduled for March 19,2019, succeeded.

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Opponents of MARTA are critical of MARTA's perceived inefficiency and alleged wasteful spending.

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Supporters of MARTA are critical of the almost complete lack of state and regional support of MARTA.

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Currently, MARTA is the largest mass transportation system in the United States not to receive state funding.

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Opponents of Georgia's transportation policies have alleged a race-based two-tiered system, where billions are spent by the state on highway expansion to aid the automobile commutes of mostly White residents of the suburbs and rural areas, while service cuts at MARTA have hurt mostly African Americans in low-income areas where residents cannot afford automobile ownership.

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Supporters of MARTA have alleged that the lack of participation by other metro Atlanta counties is rooted in racism and classism.

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MARTA is sometimes sarcastically said to stand for "Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta", a replacement backronym, due to the relatively low number of white riders, particularly after peak commuting hours.

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Nonetheless, high-profile crimes on or near MARTA have created the impression with some that MARTA is unsafe and lacks a strong police presence, even though it has its own police department.

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MARTA is currently nearing the end of a complete replacement of tracks on all rail lines.

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In 2006 internal and external audits of MARTA corporate spending revealed personal charges on a pair of MARTA credit cards used by former General Manager and CEO Nathaniel Ford and two of his secretaries.

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In June 2018, a MARTA contractor died after being struck by a train while working on the tracks between Buckhead and North Springs stations.

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MARTA bus is clearly seen being used by the character portrayed by Kim Basinger in The Real McCoy, which was set primarily in Atlanta.

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