MARTA (Buses & Subway), Atlanta
MARTA is Awesome!
Problem is it doesn't go far enough. There's a station right at the Airport and I think it's still under $2. When I go back to Atlanta I don't bother having my friends pick me up at the Airport anymore. It's so far South of the City that's it's a hassle. Marta is pretty clean and safe and if you are going North it's pretty good. If you are going to Smyrna or (West)Marrietta it may not work for you.
MARTA's not a bad system; it has 38 rail stations and two rail lines (plus, of course, the comparatively immense MARTA bus network) accessible for a flat fare of $1.75. Up until April 2006, by which time MARTA will have completed its switch to a farecard system, MARTA uses tokens and quarters. The token machines (they take dollar bills and spit out tokens in exchange) are rather testy, so don't completely lose your wits if one doesn't always accept your Washington or Lincoln, as I've seen so many tourists/suburbanites do.
MARTA's been getting a bit dirtier and grimier over the years, but only in the stations. It's still never been nearly as haphazard on the inside as the New York City subway. Beware of the older trains with carpeting if you have mold allergies, though...they're as old as 27 years, and considerable mold has accumulated beneath the carpet.
If you're not in the farther-out suburbs, then I would recommend you stay off the highway if you're a visitor. It's *nuts*. MARTA works very well for many major destinations in the city.
MARTA sucks! Imagine this: you're stuck with a token machine. It won't let you get a token. Therefore, you go to the kiosk. You complain about the token machine. The clerk says to a woman behind you, "Give this woman another dollar." You would be shocked. Right? It's fine if the woman is willing to give you another dollar, but you would be infuriated at the people who work here. What about that guy who was arrested for helping a man by giving him a token. How about this: the token machine is broken. You have your family with you. The kids are playing around, and you're worried about when the train is coming. The clerk takes so long to get a token for you the train already left. (This was in the Dunwoody and Sandy Springs station.) What's wrong with MARTA! Of course, I have to handle with this because I'm a native. One time, the train was being emptied for a reason I never learned. I waited over half an hour until the next one came. The trains are always late, or at least take excessively long. The stations are cleaner than the trains, which have graffiti. You might have to take a bus instead. It's a lot more useful to use the subway inside Atlanta, not in the suburbs. The stations further away from Atlanta are for families going on a trip or for people who are that dumb to book a hotel that far away. It doesn't get to the malls, which are mostly outside 285. (That's the big highway around Atlanta.) Instead of taking the long ride on MARTA from the north of Atlanta all the way down to the airport in the south, I'd rather drive. On the other hand, if you live near the East/West line you have to transfer at Five Points, the central station in the heart of Atlanta. Overall, MARTA is not my favorite.
We travelled into Atlanta from Sandy Springs on the MARTA subway train. It runs partly under and partly overground. While on the train I was amazed to hear locals critisizing the system heavily, I don't know why. Personally I found the system clean (ish), comfortable, frequent and cheap. Of course I don't live there and don't have to use it everyday. I suppose an Atlantan could come to the UK and drop on a lucky day and think our transport was ok.
All I can say is it did the business for us.
I found the MARTA to be pretty convenient. It stops at almost all of the touristy areas. Riding is 1.75 per ride, but you can get a weekend pass which is a lot better deal at one of the ride stores. We rode only during the day and felt safe, but I don't know about night time.
Atlanta is known for having terrible traffic problems. In an effort to alleviate some of the congestion, particularly on the highways and around downtown, the city has a subway and bus system otherwise known as MARTA.
The MARTA subway line runs north to south. There is an east-west line as well, but I'm not familiar with that one. The north-south line begins at the airport and runs to the outlying areas of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. There are stops in downtown, near Underground Atlanta, Midtown on 10th and 14th streets and in Buckhead. MARTA costs $1.75 for one way access, but daily and weekly passes are available.
We found the shuttle to be clean and efficient. If you need transportation to and from the airport, MARTA is your best bet, as a cab will run at least $30 and a shuttle in the $15-$20 range. Plus, its only about a 20 minute ride on MARTA from the airport to Midtown and less than 30 minutes to Buckhead.
Traffic in Atlanta can be really bad. Luckily the train, MARTA, runs to and from the airport on its N/S route. There's also a seeminly smaller E/W route, but I didn't use that one.
If you're going to Buckhead, take the North Springs train from the airport, which stops in Buckhead. If you accidentally take the Doralville train (like I did), you can change to the North Springs train at the Lindbergh station.
MARTA is an acronym for the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
Traffic is brutal around the Atlanta Metro area, but you do have other options. MARTA gives you the ability to avoid the road and hop on the rails.
One way tokens are $1.75
Weekly passes are $13 (Monday - Sunday)
Weekend passes are $9 (Friday - Sunday_
from the airport u can take marta and get to the city for a 1.75 USD , they have 2 lines - east-west and south-north - they cross the other line at 5 points station (gsu is there, world of coca cola, underground atlanta and so on)
MARTA is an okay way to get around Atlanta. It's cheap, but doesn't run all night and you'll need to take buses to get to most places. There is a train station at the airport, and there are stations located in downtown, midtown, and buckhead. If you're staying in these places, then I suggest taking MARTA.
The rail system around atlanta Is horrible. The stations are about 5 miles apart so it is not convenent unless where you are going is close to the station and where you are coming from is close to the station.
From the airport, it is very easy to get to downtown, just follow the sign to ground transportation, till you see MARTA. $1.75 token per trip can be purchased from machine. Atlanta is not under efficiency pricing system (i.e., it is flat fare regardless of length or time one travels). N-Day visitor's pass unfortunately would be only available if you are among a group of 15-20 AND prereserved X-days ago!
The MARTA is awesome! It can take you right from the airport to downtown and is great for getting around the city. Granted, since the rail only forms a big "+" in the city there are several places it doesn't go, but most activites are built near the railways and those that aren't are also accessable via city bus. It's my favorite way to get around ATL.
Atlanta has the city transit called MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority). This is a subway train as well as the bus.
Marta is public transit but beats try to get through Atlanta traffic and for less than $2.
The best way to get around Atlanta is by using the MARTA rail line which has over 30 stations all across metro Atlanta. You have the South line which takes you to their Airport station. you have the North Line which takes you to Midtown station and visit Margareth Mitchells house author of the book 'Gone with the wind', further more you have Buckhead station. Step out at Buckhead station and experience the nightlife district of Atlanta. You can also step out at Buckhead station to visit the Lenox Square Mall and the Phips Plaza Mall. Further North with Marta Rail you can step out at Dunwoody Station, you can step out this station for the Perimeter Mall which offers excellent shopping. On the West line you can step out at one of the stations to visit the Stone Mountain National Park and Atlanta Metro Zoo.
Five points is the name of the central station of the MARTA rail line located in the center of downtown Atlanta. At the fivepoints station both the North, East, West and South line meet. It is also the bussiest rail station of all of Metro Atlanta. Some stations do offer you the advantage of parking your car. So if you want to avoid the congested traffic around Atlanta park your car at MARTA's rail station and take the rail train.
What impresses me the most is that the trains do come every 5 minutes and can move you quickly through metro Atlanta. If you are an out of state or foreign visitor make sure you purchase a weekly MARTA ticket which can be bought at their counter at Hartsfield Ineternational Airport. If you buy the MARTA ticket you can use the rail as often as you like without having to pay 2 tokens each time you want to use the train. So buy a MARTA WEEK train ticket and save yourself some expenses.