There's more good news than bad news in MARTA's proposed service changes for May 17, 2014. Public hearings on Jan. 21, 23 and 25 will cover service adjustments in detail, and provide an opportunity for the community to give feedback. A few changes for this coming May point to some larger developments, so even if you aren't a regular rider, check out these five things that are good to know about the proposed changes in service.
1. End to Streetcar Detours
Several downtown bus routes have been on altered routes since construction of the streetcar tracks began in 2013. That's great news... progress on the streetcar construction, and Peachtree Street downtown, as one example, will see the return of bus 110 -- a great alternate route to the red/gold rail line that stops at many hotels and tourist attractions (view destinations along the bus 110 route here).
2. No Boarding Unmanned Buses
To try and prevent fare evasion, passengers will no longer be able to board an empty bus at a train station. The driver will need to be present to oversee fare payment or transfers.
3. Improved Weekday Peak Travel
If you are a weekday commuter, you're in luck. MARTA is increasing service during peak times between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. This change also benefits riders going to Braves Games or concerts and other events downtown on weekdays.
4. West Midtown Gets Some Love
Weekday service on bus 12 will have increased frequency to every 15 minutes from West Paces Ferry to the Midtown MARTA station during morning peak travel and from the station to West Paces Ferry during evening weekday peak. This route travels along the northern edge of the Georgia Tech campus and to West Midtown to locations such as the Goat Farm and Ormby's, JCT Kitchen, Star Provisions and more.
5. More Bus Service to Virginia Highland and Little Five Points on Saturdays
In case you missed the earlier bus number change, bus 2 that used to depart from the North Avenue MARTA station to Candler Park is now 102. And service will change on Saturdays from every 65 minutes to every 45 -- which means more buses traveling from Midtown to Virginia/Poncey Highland and Little 5 Points. Great for festival season.