ATLANTA - While most commuters are the distance between a bed and a living room, these days, some essential workers, like Peter Groves, a contractor, are finding the old commute just isn’t an option.
Last week, MARTA announced abbreviated bus routes to protect the health and wellness of employees providing service during the pandemic.
Since Monday and until further notice, MARTA will run a few dozen bus routes with service to 17 hospitals, 22 urgent care centers, 85 grocery stores, and 16 job centers.
Unlike the 115 bus that used to run in his DeKalb neighborhood, none of the operating routes will get Groves to the train station that gets him to his construction sites.
"You’re pretty much handcuffed because you have to spend more money to get back and forth to work to make the money," Groves said.
He’s forced to spend $7 a day for a Lyft to the train.
Thankfully Groves can craft his own schedule, but he says he empathizes with those who have to Lyft or Uber 5 days a week.
"It’s like the cost of a phone bill every week," he said.
Others in the neighborhood say the 24, 116, and 119 buses—which were all canceled Monday—were their only means of getting to work, the grocery store, or pharmacy.
"I understand social distancing but they are abandoning us. We don’t have any form of transportation. If they could just leave the 115 we could probably make do with that," Audrey Haggins said.
"We did struggle with the concept," MARTA Director of bus operations Collie Greenwood said. "And decided the only way to provide services to people was to disable services to the less used corridor," he said.
Greenwood says the transit authority is taking suggestions. You can make a comment here.
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Operating buses are listed below:
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