The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is restoring some of its previously suspended bus routes and implementing service frequency adjustments to match its reduced demand in ridership and address bus capacity limitations.
Last spring, MARTA suspended 70 of its 110 bus routes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing. Twelve routes were reinstated as conditions allowed, and now 58 remaining routes will be restored on April 24.
“We understand the reduction in bus routes created a hardship for many of our customers, and we are appreciative of their patience as we balanced providing a service with protecting public health,” said MARTA GM/CEO Jeffrey Parker. “While returning these routes means returning a sense of normalcy for many customers, it does come with a change to service frequency to account for reduced ridership. To align with current health recommendations, we are limiting bus capacity to seated loads only, no standing or crush loads, and extra buses will be on standby to be placed into service to minimize overcrowding.”
Masks are still required on MARTA and available through a mask dispenser located near the front door, or from an operator when dispensers are running low. Additionally, all buses are equipped with bipolar ionization air filters that eliminate airborne pathogens and deliver clean air every 75 seconds. MARTA will evaluate ridership demand over the next several months, and once COVID safety restrictions are lifted, look at returning to pre-COVID service frequency later this year.