Riding transit for the first time, especially in a new city, can be a little overwhelming. You have to figure out where the stations are, where and how to buy fare and how to look up schedules. A regular rider can also easily get frustrated when not having information close at hand for trip planning and getting information on service delays.
That's where all the new technology comes into play. Here are three helpful apps to have on your smartphone to make your travel easier on MARTA.
Available on iPhone and Android devices, MARTA On The Go is the official MARTA app. In addition to maps and schedules, you can view the next arriving trains in real time. Use the favorite option to save the routes you use most, or press the "nearby" button to see the nearest bus stops and rail stations to your current location. There is an alerts section as well, though you can also check the @MARTASERVICE Twitter feed for information on delays, single tracking and elevator outages.
Say goodbye to nuisance behavior with the See and Say app, which allows riders to report issues to MARTA police anonymously. A discreet camera is built-in for taking pictures, or provide detailed descriptions of the person and situation when submitting reports, including train car number, bus route, location and direction of travel. Fare evasion, smoking, playing loud music and panhandling are just some of the reasons to reach for the app. You can also text MARTA police at 404-334-5355.
For the best trip planner on the go, Google Maps is at the top of the list. You can use the transit feature in any city where the transit agency has submitted scheduling data to Google. In the app, search for your end destination then click on the train or person icon to get transit or walking directions. Choose "options" to set your preferred mode of travel: bus only, train only, shortest walk, fewest transfers or best route. Click on the departure time to adjust desired arrival or departure date and time to see the appropriate schedules. As a bonus, with the GPS feature, you can also see where you are at on the map as you walk, which is helpful if you aren't sure you're on the right path.