A Fresh Loaf post today pointed me to a Tumblr blog that I can’t believe I’ve never seen before. It’s called The MARTA Chronicles and, true to its name, it explores all things MARTA from a rider’s perspective; from the general wackiness of some train riders to thoughtful observations on service (with graphs!).
A humorous post I liked features new ideas for MARTA’s posters encouraging better rider behavior. Here’s one that, as a parent who rides with a little kid, I really appreciate:
When we visited LA last year, I was astounded that we could ride their trains (surprisingly good transit system) without overhearing a single loud & offensive conversation. That’s hard to do on MARTA, for sure.
Good local bloggers abound! Atlanta has so many people use social media to give thoughtful comment on the city — it’s really an exciting place to live (apart from the F-bombs).
Please take a few mintes to read this great piece in Atlanta Magazine, written by Rachael Maddux, about the ups and downs of commuting on MARTA:
Here’s a quote I really liked:
Some days, smug as it sounds, I feel like taking MARTA has made me a better person—not that it makes me better than anyone else, but that it has made me better than myself. Other days remind me that I’m about as good at riding the train as I am at being a human being, and in both cases I still have many lessons to learn.
I remember when I first walked along the Beltline route when it was still train tracks and I felt that it was a great way to see a cross section of the city — that it was like a biopsy of the center of Atlanta that showed the widely-varying layers of our built environment.
Riding MARTA does a similar thing but with the people of Atlanta rather than the places. Commuting in a car is a great way to get from one point to another while avoiding contact with anyone around you, but “communal commuting” forces you into face-to-face contact with your citywide neighbors.
That’s a situation with ups and downs in the course of the individual trips, but in the long run you learn to see Atlantans in a way you can’t from behing a windshield.
MARTA photo from Flickr user HigherContrast
— A young man offered a young woman his seat (she declined).
— An older man thanked the young man for offering his seat to the young woman.
— Another young man complimented another young woman on her shoes.
— I braced myself for some shitty counterbalance, but nothing came.
Yay — I like good MARTA stories.
Blogger cityhaul writes about some changes to MARTA bus service that are starting this weekend.
Route 110, which normally manages to dodge the axe, will see some big changes: From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. trips will alternate between running all the way from Lenox to Five Points and running only between Lenox and Arts Center. From 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., the route will no longer run between Arts Center and Five Points at all. Saturday and Sunday service between Arts Center and Five Points will change from every 20 minutes to every 40 minutes.
Cutting the Arts-Center-to-Five-Points leg of the route for so many hours isn’t just a self-contained inconvenience. It also eliminates the only workaround for the 20-minute headways on the Red and Gold lines after 7 p.m.
Similar (and equally confusing) modifications are being made to Route 6. The route currently runs from Lindbergh to Inman Park, but from 6 to 9 a.m. and from 3 to 7 p.m., every other trip will now turn around at the Emory Village traffic circle on weekdays. The route will run as normal at midday and at night on weekdays and all of Saturday and Sunday.
The good news is that the Route 6 rush hour frequency will increase from every 18 minutes to every 15. The bad news is that it doesn’t do you any good if you have to wait half an hour for a bus that’s going all the way to Inman Park.
Details, maps and new schedules for all 21 routes being altered “to improve overall service and on-time performance” are here. Enjoy!
I’m sad about the 110 Peach Bus no longer going downtown at night (it won’t go south of Arts Center starting at 7pm). We can use the train instead, but it was so much easier to check the location of the bus with MARTA’s WebWatch bus tracker catch it without a big wait. There’s no online train tracking tool, which is fine when the trains are on time, but not so fine when they aren’t.
The convoluted bus routes aren’t doing MARTA any favors when it comes to gaining ridership. Gah.