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Stat-urday: About the Bus

20 Oct

Bus line at Civic Center StationIn honor of the first World Statistics Day, a few MARTA bus numbers:

500,000 miles or 10 years: The maximum service life of a bus. After buses are retired from service, they’re sold on a public online auction site.

$2,500: The approximate price a second-hand bus usually goes for at auction. They’re generally purchased for parts or scrap metal.

1,290,000: The approximate number of paper timetables MARTA’s print shop prints each year. MARTA’s manager of communications, Cara Hodgson, said in an email that there’s been “no noticeable change” in the demand for paper schedules since they became available online.

Timetables for some routes have to be printed more than others. The three most in-demand printed schedules are for routes 5-Piedmont Road/Sandy Springs, 15-South DeKalb/Candler and 39-Buford Highway. Three of the least in-demand schedules are 47-I-85 Access Road/Briarwood Rd, 103-N. Shallowford Road/Peeler Road and 104-Winters Chapel Road.

8,978: The number of bus stops in MARTA’s service area

4,133: The number of those stops that are in the city of Atlanta

800 to 1000 feet: MARTA’s guideline distance for separation of bus stops. Factors like development density, land use, accessibility and safety sometimes require stops to be placed closer together or farther apart.

5.01 route miles: The length of MARTA’s shortest bus route, which is 67-West End. The longest is 143-Windward Park and Ride at 35.1 route miles

148: The average number of weekday boardings for route 148-Medical Center/Riveredge Parkway, a peak-time-only route, which has the lowest ridership

6,982: The average number of weekday boardings for route 39-Buford Hwy, the route with the highest ridership

$22.37: The average cost for MARTA’s sign shop to manufacture a roadside bus stop sign

92: The number of bus routes MARTA currently operates. That total is down about 30 percent from 133 routes in 2007, nearly 27 percent less than the 126 routes in 2002, and about 41 percent less than the 156 routes running in 1997

Sources: MARTA bus service and operations management staff and Cara Hodgson, director of communications


Things You Never Knew You Wanted to Know: MARTA’s Lost and Found

28 Apr

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In a small office at the north corner of the Forsyth Street side of Five Points Station, through a door next to a set of glass-partitioned windows, sit a pair of huge suitcases, at least seven bicycles, umbrellas, jackets and backpacks by the dozen, knee-high piles of books, scores of sets of keys, a saxophone and two baby carriers. They’re among the more than 500 items that will be left in transit stations, trains and buses this month and eventually find their way to MARTA’s lost and found.

  • Most frequently lost items: Keys, phones, book bags, glasses, books
  • Full-time lost and found staff: Zero. The staff at the reduced-fare office also run the agency’s lost and found –  logging, sorting and storing the items, maintaining the lost and found database, attempting to contact the owners of lost IDs and fielding calls and emails from people looking for their belongings
  • Eight bicycles were left on MARTA in the last 30 days, four of them just this week. Most were left on bus bike racks.
  • Conventions, festivals and major sporting events don’t generate spikes in the number of lost items. What does? New Years Eve and weekends.
  • Chances that a lost item will be claimed by its owner: Pretty low. The average claim rate so far this year is 17 percent. The average claim rate for fiscal 2011 was less than 12 percent, and less than 20 percent for fiscal 2010.
  • Average number of items turned in per month: 560
  • Items most likely to be claimed: Phones, wallets, laptops and other electronics
  • After 30 days, usable unclaimed items are usually donated to the Red Cross, Salvation army, church outreach organizations and shelters. Unclaimed keys are turned over to MARTA’s building services department for scrap metal
  • A prosthetic leg was brought in last summer. It has yet to be claimed.


Roosevelt Stripling – manager of customer service, reduced fare and lost found

Leslie C. Porter – supervisor of half-fare eligibility

Things You Never Knew You Wanted to Know: Taxi Facts

4 Jul

The Atlanta Police Department’s Bureau of Taxicabs and Vehicles for Hire enforces the city’s ordinances regarding taxi licensing and operation.

To operate a taxi in the city of Atlanta drivers must purchase of a Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience, also sometimes referred to as a medallion. CPNCs can be purchased directly from the city or transferred from one operator to another.

Taxi drivers must be affiliated with a taxi company licensed by the City of Atlanta.

162: Chapter number of Atlanta’s municipal code governing the operation and licensing of taxis

23: The number of taxi companies licensed by the City of Atlanta

10: The maximum age at which vehicles may be used as a taxis in the city of Atlanta

1600: The number of CPNCs available for taxis in the city.

1554 to 1558: The number of CPNCs currently assigned

$6,000: The minimum cost to acquire a CPNC from the City of Atlanta.

$36,958.50: Average price paid for a City of Atlanta CPNC in 2010

$60,000: The highest price at which a CPNC was transferred from one operator to another in 2010*

$1: The lowest price for a City of Atlanta CPNC transfer in 2010

6: Number of months between inspections for each taxi

$2.50: Mandatory fare for the first one-eighth of a mile of a metered taxi trip. Each additional one-eighth of a mile is 25 cents.

$40.00: Flat rate fare between Buckhead and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport


  • Cedric Burse, manager of the Bureau of Taxicabs and Vehicles for Hire
  • Atlanta Municpal Code

*That sounds like a lot until you see the prices that New York City’s medallions go for. Average cost of a transfer between individuals there in 2010: $603,583.33

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