Update: Atlanta Transit Coalition names improving bus service a top priority for 2024

A network of organizations dedicated to making our city’s transit better has named three chief advocacy areas for 2024. Learn about all three below.

Photo: MARTA Army

As the new year approaches, the Atlanta Transit Coalition has chosen its three chief advocacy areas for 2024. We’re also happy to share updates in two major programs that impact bus service.

The coalition is a network of organizations facilitated by Propel ATL that works to make our city’s transit high-quality, high-frequency, and accessible for every rider, to create a more equitable city. Previous efforts included gathering feedback from over 1,000 Atlantans to produce a set of desired outcomes for the bus network redesign that’s in progress now at MARTA.(Update on that below!)

To help set our advocacy priorities for the new year, the coalition focused on these top concerns relayed by daily transit riders:

  1. Frequency of Service: Many riders emphasized the need for more frequent buses, especially at times outside of the traditional rush hours, and on weekends.
  2. Reliability of Service: When bus trips are canceled or delayed because the bus got stuck in traffic, it has serious consequences for people who rely on the system to get to work, school, and other important obligations. 
  3. Affordability of Fares: MARTA’s monthly pass is $95, which can be too expensive for the 40% of MARTA riders whose families earn less than 40,000 a year to purchase upfront. As a result, frequent riders can actually end up paying more than the monthly pass. Families and young people may also struggle to afford the fare (in many cities, kids and young people can ride the transit system for free. In Atlanta, only kids 46 inches and shorter don’t pay the MARTA fare). 

Tell us what you think about these focus areas, or share your own ideas! Email us.

Transit issue updates


MARTA bus network redesign

In 2022, we handed over a set of desired outcomes for MARTA's bus network redesign based on input from more than 1,000 Atlantans who ride the bus regularly. This summer, MARTA announced in a resolution that it plans to emphasize ridership over coverage, meaning the new bus system would have fewer routes but operate those buses more frequently. (More about this in our post from June.) 

In a presentation to Atlanta City Council last month, MARTA shared what would happen next: refine the draft plan, reach out to the public for input, and use the feedback to refine the final network plan. 

Image: Courtesy MARTA Q4 Presentation 11-29-23


More MARTA projects

As we wrote earlier this year here and in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-ed, we were disappointed to learn that MARTA was revising the More MARTA expansion program without asking the riding public for input, even though Atlanta residents voted to approve the set of projects in 2016. 

While we continue to advocate for more of a public say in MARTA expansion, we’re happy to report that one of the program’s projects is advancing visibly: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Summerhill

In November, MARTA announced that construction had started on Hank Aaron Drive from Fulton Street headed south. The work includes moving utilities, repairing sidewalks, and repaving the street. MARTA says construction should be finished in Spring 2025 and service should start in 2025 as well! You can sign up for updates here.

We are still waiting to see the updated design for another key project, the Campbellton Road BRT.

Photo: Ari Edlin

  • Jeremiah Jones
    published this page in News 2023-12-14 21:25:29 -0500