The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) board of directors voted to make customer-focused improvements to four existing bus routes and to reinstate a scaled-down version of the popular Atlanta Braves shuttle service that will start in time for the 2011 home opener in April.
The 10-0 vote by the board came after a series of public hearings held last week in Atlanta as well as DeKalb and Fulton counties during which more than 240 people expressed their opinions about the proposed service modifications and possible restoration of the Braves shuttle. The vast majority of speakers voiced support for restoring the shuttle, including fans, neighborhood advocates, business owners and not-for-profit concessionaires.
The board also approved a plan to increase the frequency of service, or the number of vehicles available on four routes in response to concerns about overcrowding and safety. The modifications to those four routes will go into effect in June.
MARTA eliminated the Braves shuttle in 2010 because of a sharp downturn in the national economy and a decrease in sales tax revenues that are used to fund the transit system.