From Chamblee to Atlanta on a train. A few shots from my ride & walk home tonight. The Chamblee MARTA station, the rear view from the train, and a couple of pics of Peachtree Street during the walk to my downtown home.

The Atlanta Transit Agency’s Big Plan to Convert Parking Lots into Housing
The following is a re-post from thisiscitylab - Darin 
Like many U.S. transit agencies, MARTA has long struggled to secure reliable funding. The agency doesn’t receive money from the state, instead relying on sales tax income from participating counties, making it vulnerable to big economic swings. After the Great Recession, MARTA reduced staff and service while increasing fares, and when an effort to expand the revenue base failed in a 2012 referendum, the agency found itself facing a $33 million deficit.
So MARTA got creative. Keith Parker, who took over the agency in late 2012, implemented a transformation initiative that involved, among other things, a new planning strategy emphasizing TOD. In spring of 2013, Parker announced that MARTA would have five station-area projects underway within two years; to date the agency has identified developers for three projects, targeted several stations for the final two projects, and expects groundbreaking on some of the buildings as early as next year.
Enabling the projects is MARTA’s recognition that certain stations have devoted too much space to parking—an insight that several transit agencies around the world now share. At King Memorial Station, an urban station that Rhein says doesn’t make sense to reach by car, the agency owned four acres of parking lots adjacent to the station that it didn’t even use. Instead, the space had been subleased to a nearby hospital.
READ MORE…
[Image: Tim Adams/Flickr]

The Atlanta Transit Agency’s Big Plan to Convert Parking Lots into Housing

The following is a re-post from thisiscitylab - Darin

Like many U.S. transit agencies, MARTA has long struggled to secure reliable funding. The agency doesn’t receive money from the state, instead relying on sales tax income from participating counties, making it vulnerable to big economic swings. After the Great Recession, MARTA reduced staff and service while increasing fares, and when an effort to expand the revenue base failed in a 2012 referendum, the agency found itself facing a $33 million deficit.

So MARTA got creative. Keith Parker, who took over the agency in late 2012, implemented a transformation initiative that involved, among other things, a new planning strategy emphasizing TOD. In spring of 2013, Parker announced that MARTA would have five station-area projects underway within two years; to date the agency has identified developers for three projects, targeted several stations for the final two projects, and expects groundbreaking on some of the buildings as early as next year.

Enabling the projects is MARTA’s recognition that certain stations have devoted too much space to parking—an insight that several transit agencies around the world now share. At King Memorial Station, an urban station that Rhein says doesn’t make sense to reach by car, the agency owned four acres of parking lots adjacent to the station that it didn’t even use. Instead, the space had been subleased to a nearby hospital.

READ MORE…

[Image: Tim Adams/Flickr]

Riding the rails this morning in Atlanta.

The always-exciting (for me, anyway) moment when my MARTA train emerges from a tunnel into bright light. In my mind all the quiet, aloof people on the train who appear to be unfazed by this glorious moment are actually holding back squeals of joy.
This is pretty cool. It’s my view of a southbound train, as seen this morning from a northbound one, both in motion through Buckhead Atlanta. 

You can see trees and buildings through the blur of windows (and heads) on the passing train. I was, in fact, trying to take a photo of the “city in a forest” treetops when the train passed unexpectedly. 

I like this better because it still shows the city in a forest, but with trains full of people passing through it.

This is pretty cool. It’s my view of a southbound train, as seen this morning from a northbound one, both in motion through Buckhead Atlanta.

You can see trees and buildings through the blur of windows (and heads) on the passing train. I was, in fact, trying to take a photo of the “city in a forest” treetops when the train passed unexpectedly.

I like this better because it still shows the city in a forest, but with trains full of people passing through it.

A rail bridge leading to a MARTA maintenance facility, passing over frieght rail tracks, as photographed from a MARTA train going through north Atlanta. Train city.

A rail bridge leading to a MARTA maintenance facility, passing over frieght rail tracks, as photographed from a MARTA train going through north Atlanta. Train city.

Tags: atlanta MARTA

Tips for new MARTA riders

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The MidtownATL.com website has a nice post from someone who “broke up with her car” to become a transit commuter in Atlanta. She includes a good list of tips for new MARTA riders:

Use the OneBusAway app to see when your next bus or train is coming: I now ride a combo of the bus and train and completely leave my car at home. Knowing when the next bus will be at my stop is helpful as I’m deciding whether to make that last cup of coffee at home. 
Pack a bag: I packed one and store it in my office. I have a few pairs of heels at my desk since I wear comfy flats on the way in, an umbrella, and a spare magazine just in case I forget my reading material.
Stay occupied: You just freed up so much time by taking transit; use it! My ride is short, so I can read a bit of my book before I get to work. I also love to listen to the PRX Remix app to get my NPR fix. 
If you don’t know, ask: Transit riders are very friendly and usually know the system well. If you’re not sure where to get off, how to use the fare gates, etc., ask someone around you. This is Atlanta, and Southern hospitality is real and thriving!

I second all these tips and I’ll also add that, in addition to the excellent One Bus Away app, you can also get full rail and bus schedules, as well as real-time arrival times, on the MARTA On the Go app. I use both.

Also: if you experience any problems on MARTA that you want to report, just use either the See and Say app or else the custserv@itsmarta.com email. I’ve found them to be responsive.