ATLANTA - The Interstate 85 collapse has forced drivers to find alternate ways to get around, and MARTA is one of them.
MARTA said ridership has increased by 20 to 25 percent, and the transit authority planned ahead for one of its busiest days yet as commuters went back to work Monday following spring break last week.
Gwinnett Co Transit & Xpress added new Marta feeder service to Chamblee, Doraville stations. Marta has room for riders but limited parking pic.twitter.com/NUtzjZUx6e— Kaitlyn Pratt Fox 5 (@Fox5Kaitlyn) April 10, 2017
"We're having extra hands on deck to just make this a convenient, accessible, safe and easy ride," Marta spokesperson Rukiya Thomas explained.
An additional 1,200 parking spots at the Chamblee, Brookhaven, King Memorial, Kensington and East Point stations are open to help ease the congestion felt with last week's ridership surge.
“It's been pretty crowded on the trains as far as people commuting into work early morning,” said MARTA rider, Dantjuan Miller.
MARTA’s Chief of Staff, Rukiya Thomas said they can handle the increase in numbers and used the spring break week as a test. They public transportation company found that a major issue involved their parking areas which filled to capacity, some by 8 a.m.
“Our real estate team has been contacting neighboring businesses throughout the week actually, trying to determine alternative sites,” said Thomas.
Thomas said in addition to working with surrounding businesses, MARTA has opened closed lots near the stations.
The biggest change the company quickly put in place was a parking lot tracker. MARTA said riders will be able to log onto their website and see in real time which of their ten busiest parking lots are full or close to full.
“You will see in real time between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. what lots are open which is indicated by green and which lots are closed which is indicated by red,” said MARTA’s Marketing Coordinator, Nicholas Gowens.
MARTA said trains will run every 6 minutes during peak hours and every 12 minutes during non-peak hours and they will make any changes accordingly.
“At any point that we feel like there is overcrowding or there is a quick surge in the day we are going to infield trains so we have operators on standby ready for that,” said Thomas.
The parking lot tracker can be found by going to MARTA’s website and clicking on “Key Station Parking Status” on the top of their homepage. Or by clicking here
Complete coverage: Repairing the I-85 collapse