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More MARTA – Rail service will pick up the pace

Avondale Estates Decatur Kirkwood and East Lake Metro ATL

More MARTA – Rail service will pick up the pace

Undated photo from Itsmarta.com

Undated photo from Itsmarta.com

Starting next month, mass transit users are going to be seeing more of MARTA’s rail service.

MARTA spokeswoman Saba Long said that the changes to rail service will begin on May 19. Long said during peak hours on weekdays – 6 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 7 pm – customers won’t have to wait as long to catch a train.

“Customer wait times will be reduced to five minute headways on the trunk (before the lines split) and 10 minute headways on the branches,” Long said in an email. “This will occur on the Red and Gold lines from the Airport to Lindbergh station and on the Blue and Green lines from Ashby to Candler Park.”

Service will also become more frequent from 9 am to 3 pm, she said.

“Service will be every 12 minutes on each of the lines with a frequency of six minutes on the trunk,” Long said.

Long said that there are also some planned maintenance projects on the horizon. To make sure increased frequency of service doesn’t conflict with these projects, most of the work will happen on the weekends, she said. She said the trains will continue to operate every 20 minutes per line, but that could be pushed back to every 24 minutes, “when necessary.”

The transit agency has been stepping up its game in recent months. The agency’s board of directors recently agreed to enter into negotiations with the city of Decatur Development Authority for a “transit oriented development” around the Avondale MARTA station. MARTA is also moving forward with a transit oriented development around the King Memorial Station. These developments will combine housing and retail combined with easy access to MARTA’s rail service.

“This activity is seen as revenue enhancement initiative,” Amanda Rhein, senior director of transit oriented development for MARTA, said in March after the MARTA board voted to approve the negotiations. “It’s also important as improving the image of MARTA.”