ATLANTA - MARTA announced it will re-open 58 suspended bus routes this Saturday, and implement service frequency adjustments to match the reduced demand in ridership and address bus capacity limitations.
The Atlanta transit authority suspended 70 of its 110 routes during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. MARTA reinstated 12 of those routes, and Saturday's restored routes will allow MARTA to meet increased demand and bus capacity limitations.
"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."
Riders are still required to wear masks, which are 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.
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.