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 the @MARTASERVICE Twitter feed typically has more notifications of 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 (anonymous is an option). A discreet camera is built-in for taking pictures, and be sure to also provide detailed descriptions of the person and situation when submitting reports. 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 our list -- and you can use the transit feature in any city whose transit agency has submitted scheduling data. In the app, search for your end destination, and in the bottom right of the screen, you can click on the icon to select car, transit or walking directions. Choose "options" to set your departure time and preferred mode of travel: bus only, train only, shortest walk, fewest transfers or best route. With the GPS feature, you can also see where you are at on the map, which is helpful when walking to make sure you're on the right path.