There was never a problem to get TO Atlanta....but gooosh....AROUND! I live in a town with about 450000 ppl, public transportation is part many ppls everyday life and it works...we even take the bike! Being a bit naive I thought I'd do the exact same thing in Atlanta when moving there. Was I wrong or what?! Going by bike would have been my death!
I was lucky enough to live close to a bus stop which was regulary passed. I felt very out of place riding the bus....especially when working late, I did not always feel safe. The trains were somewhat nicer, really good when going to the airport.
I wouldn't say to anyone not to use the bus, I mean do what you can to save this world from all that pollution car drivers contribute to, but be wise doing it and don't be in a rush cus then it probably won't come!
The MARTA is Atlanta's light rail system. It has two main lines, one going north and south (the airport is the southern most stop) and another going east and west. They intersect at Five Points, where you could transfer from one to another. Watch out for where each train is heading, though, since there are branches in each line. It is an easy way to get to all the major attractions in Altanta. A round-trip ride is $1.75 (upto 2 children under the age of 6 can ride free with an adult), but it might make sense to get a multiple day pass (press visitor pass on the machine). It comes about every 15 min and runs until about 1:30 AM. I was told by some that it might not be a good idea to ride it late at night, but I didn't really see anything that made me worried.
This is a good way to get around the Atlanta area, which is quite large! If there is a Marta Station in the area you are staying, which there is near most hotels then try this instead of renting a car because traffic here is unreal. You can even take Marta to a Braves or Falcons game to avoid the traffic. Check out the website below for all the details.
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.
Four Seasons Atlanta Atlanta
6 Reviews and 302 Opinions The Four Seasons rates 5 stars in almost all surveys and for great reasons. Location, amenities,...
Wingate Inn Atlanta Buckhead Atlanta
1 Review and 740 Opinions This is a great bargain in the fancy Buckhead area of town. It has nice, large rooms. Lots of...
Holiday Inn Atlanta Perimeter Atlanta
1 Review and 321 Opinions Would not recommend this hotel to anyone ...... This is to inform you of our experience at the...