For the first time in a few years, Atlanta has some celebrating to do in regard to public transit. And it isn't just MARTA getting a little smarter. Here are the top five new developments this year to toast.
1. Increased MARTA Frequency
Starting on May 19, frequency of trains will increase to every 10 minutes from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. If you're the lucky commuter waiting at a station on the shared red and gold line, you'll see a train every five minutes. In addition, about 17 bus routes are also getting a lift in service.
2. Fines For Rude and Rule-Breaking Behavior
That "Ride With Respect" campaign just got serious -- which we're seriously glad about. Riders breaking the Code of Conduct can get fined or suspended from riding the system. So if you haven't been riding because of the panhandlers, or have had it with people selling incense, playing music loudly, smoking, evading fare, damaging property and more, whip out that See and Say app to report the issue and get the ball rolling on improving MARTA.
3. Buckhead Pedestrian Bridge
At the end of June, the two parts of Buckhead divided by Ga. 400 will be reconnected via the Buckhead pedestrian bridge. In addition to being a walkway over the highway that will connect housing with retail and businesses, the bridge also features a new entrance into the Buckhead MARTA station on the north side of the station.
4. Streetcars Return
Atlanta will also see the return of the streetcar by the end of June. The downtown loop connects with the Peachtree Center MARTA station and stops at locations including the Tabernacle, Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia State University and the Sweet Auburn Curb Market.
5. Clayton County Might Join MARTA
In November, Clayton County will get to vote on joining MARTA. The county's transit was discontinued in 2010 due to cost. If voting goes well, bus service and possibly a rail line could be added.