Atlanta - Bob Carr bleeds Braves blue. A lifelong fan and longtime season ticket holder. And, he has the Braves bobble head dolls, signed baseballs, and old scorecards to prove it.
Bob lives in Candler Park. He gets to his beloved Braves games with a MARTA Train ride and a brisk walk from Georgia State Station in about thirty minutes or so. So, how does he feel about the new stadium? "I'm very worried about the trip," Carr says.
With all the talk lately in the news about the new stadium, how fans will get here as compared to Turner Field, we decided to hit the streets and get a firsthand look at the trip some fans will face. Bob agreed to go with us to see how long it would take him to get to the new stadium.
We started at East Lake MARTA station, missed the first train, then settled in for the trip to Five Points.
We change trains at Five Points and head North to the Arts Center. There, we will change again, to a Cobb Link bus that will take us up I-75 to the new Stadium.
Now, 26 minutes into his trip; Bob realizes he'd be just about be walking through the turnstiles at Turner Field ready to buy a hot-dog and a coke.
At the Arts Station, we get off and look for a connecting bus. We find the Cobb Link #10 bus is packed with daily commuters. We are sent to another bus. We wonder how crowded it will be when Braves fans are added to the mix. Though we conducted this challenge during the 4th of July holiday week we were still somewhat surprised - traffic moved briskly on 75
"We're actually moving better than we expected," Bob says.
But Bob is worried about the additional 20,000 plus cars who were not on the streets during our test run.
We arrive at our final stop to find we face a 12-15 minute walk across seemingly never ending traffic lanes. Bob states: "This is disappointing."
Cobb Transit director Jim Wilgus says changes are in the works that would make this trip better.
That #10 bus is getting a new route that will take advantage of the HOV lane. Wilgus says it could save 15 minutes Or Bob could get off, and catch another bus, called the circulator, which will loop around the stadium area and drop him off at the front gate.
"Is there going to be more traffic than right now, of course there is," says Wilgus. "We think we have a good traffic plan and think it will work well."
Our total trip time: One hour and thirty minutes. Nearly three times longer than Bob's regular trek to Turner Field.
Bob Carr isn't sure he will continue to ride public transit and he advises fans to leave early and prepare to get home late.
Braves business president, Derek Schiller tells us our test is too early. Only about five per cent of current Brave fans use mass transit. He says a study of fan's drive times show most Braves fans will be better off and he says the Braves have developed a vast travel plan they aren't yet ready to release.
"Wait till next season. Make your determination then. Make your judgment then. And I think you will be pleasantly surprised," says Schiller.