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Dear Decaturish – MARTA needs to clean elevators at East Lake station

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Dear Decaturish – MARTA needs to clean elevators at East Lake station

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Dear Decaturish,

Marta is wonderful for going all the way to the airport. The convenience and price are fantastic and the airport traffic is gone. But those who use it for that often have luggage. At the East Lake station the escalator is off limits to luggage, so those with luggage use the elevators.

The stench of urine in the elevators is overwhelming. Since the layout of the station necessitates two elevator rides, the customer is exposed to this twice. One elevator even has a yellow “CAUTION WET FLOOR!” cone in the corner.Other elevators at other stations are often the same. The yellow cones are there, too, signifying both an admission of a problem and a satisfaction with a non-solution.

The MARTA management has been wondering about declining ridership, and its causes. I suggest they traipse on down to one of their own properties and smell a huge reason for themselves.

– Francis Odiorne

Editor’s note: After we received this letter, we contacted MARTA for a response. A spokesperson sent us the following statement: 

“MARTA is aware of the issue in the elevators at East Lake Station, as our general manager/CEO and chief administrative officer use the station daily. While all 38 of our rail stations, including the elevators, are cleaned up to eight times a day, the East Lake Station is not staffed 24 hours per day, making it easier for people to relieve themselves inside the elevators without being detected. In early spring of 2020, we plan to begin implementation of a urine detection system with enhanced technology that will dispatch station maintenance to address these concerns as they occur. To address the issue immediately, we will engage our elevator contractor to perform a thorough cleaning of the elevator unit, including the cage and well, where odors may linger.  We will also continue to clean these elevators multiple times every day in an effort to make using all parts of MARTA’s system a pleasant experience. If our riders encounter maintenance issues requiring immediate attention in any of our stations, we encourage them to alert station personnel or call our customer service number: 404.848.5000.” – MARTA

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