By: Shelby Barnes, 1st Year Behavioral Science & Health Education
When you tell people you’re moving to Atlanta, one of the first things that comes up is the bad traffic. I’ve had my fair share of waiting in Atlanta traffic but I come to you with a possible solution!
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority offers bus, rail and shuttle options for all of your commuting and exploring needs. If this is your first time living in a big city and navigating public transportation, have no fear! Atlanta is fairly easy to navigate (at least the train system) because it pretty much runs north/south or east/west.
WHERE DO I BEGIN?
BUY A BREEZE PASS: MARTA uses a plastic card that can be purchased and loaded at any of the 38 rail stations. Your first Breeze card will cost $2.00 + your fare. After you have your card and plan to make future trips, it will only require the trip fare.
HOW CHEAP IS IT?
It’s pretty reasonable considering the distance you’re traveling. Depending on the time and distance, Ubers/Lyft/Taxis vary in price and might get you to where you’re going directly. But, I’ve heard Ubers can cost $20-25 just to get to the airport from some apartments around campus. MARTA has several options:
One-way cost: $2.50
Round trip cost: $5.00
There are other options to look into if you get a REAL position or find a part time position that would be easily accessible to a MARTA station.
WHERE CAN I GO?
The sky’s the limit! Actually, it can’t take you everywhere but it can take you quite a bit of places. The names on the map may not mean anything now, but once you move to Atlanta, everything makes sense. You can take it up to Buckhead for some shopping or to downtown for a Hawks/Falcons/Braves game (although you have to take a separate shuttle to go to Ted Turner Field) just to name a few. Just this past weekend I took MARTA downtown to run in the Publix Georgia Half-Marathon! I usually take the MARTA rail system when I travel to the airport. It’s great if you don’t want to leave your car in long term parking or don’t want to fight with traffic on the way to the airport and miss your plane. If a friend can’t drop me off at my MARTA station then I Uber to the station. The MARTA ride is about 25 minutes from my station N6 (Lindberg Center) going south to the S7 (Atlanta Airport). The station is right inside the airport too! Nothing makes me happier than riding right over the highway and looking at all of the cars sitting in traffic and we’re cruising on the train.
MARTA TIP: If you have a suitcase with wheels…DO NOT LET GO. Been there, done that.
If you don’t want to Uber, most of the stations have parking garages that offer cheap rates if you wanted to park and MARTA to an event.
“MARTA IS SMARTA”
I did not come up with that but I’ve found that MARTA really is a great resource and is there when you need it. There are options to take a shuttle from campus to the nearest MARTA station in the event you don’t have a car here. Like all major city public transportation, it has it downsides but it is fairly easy to navigate. So, even if you’re from a big city or a small college town (like me), you shouldn’t have many problems figuring out where you’re going!
If you need more information around Atlanta’s public transit system, check out their website!