The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) held its State of MARTA 2022 event on Wednesday, Jan. 12, celebrating support of public transit and revealing the new railcar design as chosen by customers.

The annual event, hosted by Council for Quality Growth, and with support from major sponsors VHB and WSP, was held virtually due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the region.

MARTA GM/CEO Jeffrey Parker shared MARTA’s ongoing efforts to provide transit as the COVID-19 pandemic enters another year, the accomplishments and goals of the Authority, highlighting projects that will improve the customer experience.

“The Georgia Delegation really became our very own transit force of superheroes this past year and we wanted to recognize the ways in which they not only supported individual projects but also came together as a force to be reckoned with, placing transit front and center in the national infrastructure conversation,” said Parker. “Strong federal support, along with historic state support for transit is helping us continue to weather the pandemic while advancing expansion and enhancement programs and making upgrades to the system that customers will see immediately.”

The customer experience factored into the design of MARTA’s 254 new railcars, the first of which will arrive in metro Atlanta next year. 

The interior features an open gangway so riders can move freely between cars, seating options facing forward and inward, spacious luggage and bicycle areas, and large, accommodating ADA doorways and spaces. The new trains, designed and built by Stadler, will have technology providing charging stations and digital system maps and service information.

“I see transit as a combination of lines and dots, with the lines being our buses and trains and the dots being the communities we connect and serve,” said GM/CEO Parker. “This next year will be one of enhancing the dots and expanding the lines, reimagining what transit can and should be for the metro Atlanta region as it continues to grow.”