Many people you may talk to will say that Atlanta is a driving city, which it is, BUT it is very possible to live here without a car. For a year and a half I lived in Atlanta happily without a car, so I want to share some tips with you if you intend on moving here carless (or if you’re looking for other ways to transport around the city. These are great ways to lower carbon emissions, we are in public health school after all!)
First of all, I highly recommend living in an apartment complex or in a neighborhood that is along an Emory’s Cliff shuttle line. This will make getting to and from school very easy. For example, during my time at Rollins School of Public Health, I lived at Campus Crossing Apartments that is on a shuttle route (B route to be exact). The shuttle stops right outside my apartment building and it takes me about 5 to 7 minutes to get to school, depending on traffic. For more information on the Emory’s Cliff shuttles, visit the transportation website. It will be helpful when looking at places to live to see if they are on a shuttle route, or at least close to one, if it is not particularly close to campus.
Another option is walking to and from campus. Though the shuttle is super convenient, there were many days that I didn’t feel like waiting for it to arrive at school or if I was going home during a busy time of day (rush hour gets pretty hectic), then I would decide to walk home instead. Campus Crossing is about a 30 minute walk (roughly a mile) from campus, which I didn’t mind at all. It was always a nice way to get some exercise, be outside in Atlanta’s beautiful weather, and decompress after a long school day. I think walking is a great option if you live close enough to campus and if there are sidewalks on the route home (safety is important!)
So what about if I was going somewhere that wasn’t campus? There are plenty of options! I used the MARTA bus lines multiple times to go downtown to the Fulton County Board of Health, where I was involved my second year at Rollins. The MARTA bus route I took downtown left right from Emory campus and it took me almost right to the steps of Fulton County Board of Health downtown. To make this an even more convenient and cheap option, Emory provided me with a MARTA breeze card with 20 free MARTA rides, which can include the bus or train, since I am considered a “commuter student” (a student who walks or bikes to school). For more information on MARTA bus routes, check out the MARTA website.
I own a bike here in Atlanta and it’s also a great way to get around, especially since I can use it almost all year round. My bike is pictured here in Lullwater Preserve, right on Emory’s campus. Lyft and Uber car services are always options as well to get to places that aren’t campus. Many people I know who have cars end up using Lyft and Ubers anyway since parking can be a hassle in many parts of Atlanta. Additionally, Atlanta has Bird, Lime and Lyft scooters, which are a fun and pretty inexpensive way to get around. If you’ve never heard about these electric scooters and don’t know what they are all about, I highly recommend you check them out.
It is very cost effective and ecofriendly to not to have a car here in Atlanta, and I want to share with you all that it is very possible to be happy here without one! I hope this was helpful also to those who were generally curious about other transportation options in Atlanta.