Tag Archives: bus

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

The things you see…

25 Mar

On the 110 bus on Saturday night.

Beer on the bus

Probably not from a MARTA vending machine.

MARTA News: Buses and Bridges

17 Jan

Bus stop sign

If you’re already bored with last September’s set of bus route modifications, another round is being proposed to take effect in April. MARTA will hold public meetings Tuesday, Jan. 24 and Thursday, Jan. 26 for input on the proposed changes, which will affect five routes:

  • Route 1 – Centennial Olympic Park /Coronet Way
  • Route 12Howell Mill Road / Cumberland
  • Route 32Bouldercrest / Georgia Aquarium
  • Route 86Fairington Road / McAfee Road
  • Route 115Covington Highway / South Hairston Road

Preliminary work is scheduled to get underway today on the new entrance and pedestrian bridges that will link the north end of Buckhead Station with Tower Place. MARTA awarded the contract (PDF) for construction of the project to Archer Western Contractors last October and expects construction to be completed in November 2013.

Edit: See Atlanta Business Chronicle for more, bigger and better renderings of the project. H/T to AtlUrbanist

Weekend Workarounds: MARTA on NYE

28 Dec
Fireworks

Photo by jeff_golden on Flickr

If your Saturday afternoon plans involve a trip on the route 1, 16, 32, 110 or 186 bus, check out the re-routes (PDF) that are planned for 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. that day. The Chic-Fil-A Bowl parade will be borrowing parts of Peachtree Street, Andrew Young International Boulevard and Marietta Street during those times.

Street closures for the Peach Drop at Underground start at 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon. That means service on routes 1, 3, 13, 16, 32, 42, 49, 51, 55, 74, 110, 155 and 186 will be diverted (PDF) from downtown to other stations from 4:00 p.m. until the end of service that night.

The good news is that if you somehow manage to get where you’re going despite all the celebratory circumventions, rail service will be extended that night, with the last trains in all directions departing Five Points Station at 2:00 a.m. Sunday.

More info at MARTA’s site.

Megabus Atlanta debut set for November

26 Oct

A high-speed passenger rail network for the Southeast remains a “maybe” for the distant future, but low-cost express bus service will be here in time for the holiday travel season.

Megabus double decker

Photo courtesy of Megabus

Chicago-based Megabus, which offers amenities like Wi-Fi and electrical outlets on its coaches, will begin daily trips from Atlanta to 11 major cities in the Southeast on November 16. Buses will depart daily from a stop at Civic Center Station on West Peachtree Street.

The five-year-old Megabus service which operates an online-only reservation system with fares beginning at just $1, is popular with travelers in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

To promote the launch of service to Atlanta, Megabus is giving away 10,000 seats on buses on the new routes for travel between Nov. 16 and Dec 16.

H/T to the AJC.

The Price of Progress: Buses to be rerouted for streetcar construction

6 Oct

Love it or hate it, the first stage of construction of the Atlanta Streetcar will soon be underway. To make room for the construction, parts of bus routes that pass through the streetcar’s route are being shifted out of the way, beginning this Saturday, Oct. 8. The reroutes are scheduled to be in effect until at least mid-2013.

MARTA bus reroute notice sign

This bus stop at the intersection of Peachtree and Marietta Streets, currently served by routes 3, 16 and 110, will be out of service when construction on the streetcar project begins

Affected routes are:

  • 1 – Centennial Olympic Park / Coronet Way
  • 3 – Martin Luther King, Jr Drive / Auburn Avenue
  • 16 – Noble
  • 99 – Boulevard / Monroe Drive
  • 110 – Peachtree Street “The Peach”
  • 155 – Windsor Street / Lakewood Avenue
  • 186 – Rainbow Drive / South DeKalb

The reroutes will leave some stretches of downtown streets – Peachtree Street between Ellis Street and Five Points Station,  Auburn Avenue between Courtland and Peachtree Streets, and Edgewood Avenue between Courtland and Peachtree Streets, for example – without bus service for the better part of two years.

It will be interesting to see how the new detours, combined with last year’s service reductions, last month’s alignment and schedule changes, and last week’s fare increase go over with riders.

New maps, schedules and other details on the route modifications are at MARTA’s site.

New bus service changes go into effect next Saturday

7 Jun

Ready the recycling bins, MARTA will implement coverage and/or schedule changes on 13 bus routes beginning June 18.

Affected routes are:

2 Ponce de Leon Avenue/Moreland Avenue (Yes, again.)

8 North Druid Hills Road

49 McDonough Boulevard

56 Adamsville/Collier Heights

75 Tucker (This is only a chage to the location of the bus bay at Avondale station that the bus will service.)

86 Fairington Road/McAfee Road

87 Roswell Road/Morgan Falls

93 East Poin/Delowe Drive

95 Metropolitan Parkway / Hapeville

99 Boulevard/Monroe

117 Rockbridge Road/Panola Road

124 Pleasantdale Road

181 Buffington Road/South Fulton Park & Ride

More MARTA service changes. Yes, really.

18 Dec

A new set of service changes go into effect at MARTA today.

Flickr photo by Lance McCord

Affected bus routes are:

2 – Ponce de Leon Avenue / Moreland Avenue

4 – Thomasville / Moreland Avenue Route

58 – Atlanta Industrial / Hollywood Road

66 – Lynhurst Drive / Barge Road Park & Ride

84 – East Point / Camp Creek

99 – Boulevard / Monroe Drive

120 – East Ponce de Leon Avenue /  Tucker
The announcement also says that early morning trips on the Red Line will be “adjusted to provide a consistent frequency” on weekdays. Has anyone ever even looked at a rail schedule?

Complaint Desk: Quit scribbling on our new buses!

30 Oct

On the way to Civic Center station this morning, I made it across Peachtree at Ralph McGill/Ivan Allen just in time to board the Route 110 bus that was stopped at the intersection, heading south. On days when the timing is exactly right like that, it’s faster to ride the 110 from there to Five Points than to walk the rest of the way to Civic Center Station, wait for the train, (especially with the longer headways now) and get to Five Points that way. Instead of spending another ten minutes walking and waiting, I’m in motion toward the the destination during that time. Saving ten minutes might be of little consequence to most people, but for the chronically tardy like me, that’s serious business.

It was one of the new, black, partially stimulus-funded buses that started appearing this spring and frequently service the 110 route. I walked to the first seats past the the rear door, sat down, and encountered this:

Bus poetry, left side

Why?

I can almost (while strongly objecting) understand someone scrawling trite, usage-impaired verse on a bus that’s been in service for well over a decade and looks every day of it. But, these are only about six months old. Worse yet, I realized later that I’d seen these same substandard compositions when I got on the 110 at Buckhead Station some time during the summer. That means the bus was barely in service for three months (at most) before these underinspired wordsmiths got to it. Three months. MARTA keeps its stock for 12 years or 500,000 miles. Shouldn’t they at least get broken in before we give them the public restroom stall treatment?

And who are these people who walk around with a Sharpie, expressly for the purpose of vandalizing? Sharpies are to be used for good, not evil.

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