MARTA expanding rideshare service to Avondale Estates, four other citiesStarting next month, MARTA will launch a six-month trial of a rideshare service connecting riders to MARTA bus and rail stops. Photo provided by MARTA
This story has been updated.
Atlanta, GA — The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has announced the expansion of MARTA Reach, in partnership with Georgia Tech. The six-month pilot rideshare service was designed to connect riders to-and-from MARTA bus and rail. It will be expanded to include the neighborhood of Dixie Hills, and the cities of Avondale Estates, Alpharetta, Roswell, Forest Park, and Morrow.
The pilot was meant to test how on-demand shuttles can be used to make it easier and faster for customers to get to their destinations using MARTA, according to a press release.
“We have seen significant interest and loyalty from the early riders of MARTA Reach,” said MARTA Chief Customer Experience Officer Rhonda Allen. “Most of our riders take many trips a day, connecting to grocery stores, schools and day care, social activities, and the broader MARTA system. We’re thrilled at the opportunity to expand the program to serve more riders in more parts of our region for the second half of the pilot.”
Beginning May 16:
– The current West Atlanta zone will be expanded to include Dixie Hills, alongside the Florida Heights and Collier Heights neighborhoods. New connections will be made to West Lake and Bankhead Stations.
– The current Belvedere zone will be expanded to include the city of Avondale Estates. New connections will be made to Kensington Station.
Starting May 30:
– The current West Atlanta zone will expand into the cities of Forest Park and Morrow, including new connections to Route 196, Clayton State University, Southern Regional Hospital, and Southlake Mall.
– A new zone will be introduced in North Fulton, including Georgia State University’s Alpharetta Campus, Downtown Alpharetta, and the Avalon District. Connections will be provided to Routes 85, 140, 141, 142 via the Mansell Park & Ride.
“The North Fulton CID is excited to welcome the MARTA Reach Pilot Program to North Fulton,” said Executive Director Brandon Beach, “This program has proven its effectiveness in other areas of Metro Atlanta, and we look forward to our members, businesses, and residents receiving the benefits of the program.”
Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck and Georgia Tech’s Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) team is providing the technology, including routing logic, and rider, operator, and administrator system apps for the project.
“We are really thrilled about this expansion that will give MARTA Reach an opportunity to provide first- and last-mile connectivity to more riders, expanding a growing and loyal customer base,” said Van Hentenryck. “It will also allow us to improve our understanding of the sweet spots for MARTA Reach, and where it best complements the existing MARTA network. The first months of the pilot have been incredibly exciting, and the expansion will build on the great progress MARTA Reach has already accomplished.”
MARTA Reach debuted on March 1 in West Atlanta, Belvedere, and the Gillem Logistics Center. The service costs the same as a MARTA fare, $2.50. MARTA Reach runs from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and is a ride-sharing service, meaning other passengers may be picked up and dropped off during a trip.