MARTA to restore bus routes suspended due to COVID-19 on Saturday, April 24A MARTA employee disenfects a bus between trips. Photo provided by MARTA
Atlanta, GA — The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will restore 58 previously suspended bus routes on Saturday, April 24, and implement service frequency adjustments to match the reduced demand in ridership and address bus capacity limitations, according to a press release from MARTA. MARTA suspended 70 of its 110 bus routes last spring as the COVID-19 pandemic was intensifying and the need for maintaining social distance was paramount to reducing the spread of the virus. Twelve routes were reinstated as conditions allowed.
“We understand the reduction in bus routes created a hardship for many of our customers, and we are appreciative of their patience as we balanced providing a service with protecting public health,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “While returning these routes means returning a sense of normalcy for many customers, it does come with a change to service frequency to account for reduced ridership. To align with current health recommendations, we are limiting bus capacity to seated loads only, no standing or crush loads, and extra buses will be on standby to be placed into service to minimize overcrowding.”
Masks are still required on MARTA and available through a mask dispenser located near the front door, or from an operator when dispensers are running low. All buses are also equipped with Bipolar Ionization air filters that eliminate airborne pathogens and deliver clean air every 75 seconds. MARTA will evaluate ridership demand over the next several months and once COVID safety restrictions are lifted, look at returning to pre-COVID service frequency later this year.
Customers are encouraged to view the new schedules before planning their next trip. Visit https://www.itsmarta.com/servicerestoration.aspx to view schedules based on restored routes, adjusted routes, and routing changes.
For real-time service alerts follow @MARTAservice on Twitter or download the MARTA On The Go app.