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Public Transit in ATL: New Website, Same Gloomy Picture

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A new website called ATLtransit.org is a collaborative effort by — gasp! — the Atlanta Regional Commission, MARTA, Xpress, Gwinnett County Transit and Cobb County Transit. This unusual example of cross-county cooperation is meant to help commuters and other metro Atlantans plan their trips using public transportation. It's a good thing, because it means those entities have done something as a group — and it could be a step toward improved regional interconnectivity. It's also good because it truly does lay out possible trips step-by-step, transit-provider-by-transit provider, across this whole ungainly region.

The bad news? It's serviceable but not overly simple to use, and the results are often depressing. More than anything, ATLtransit.org serves as a reminder of the pathetic public transportation that exists in metro Atlanta. Take these results, pulled directly from the website, as examples:

Downtown Marietta to Downtown Atlanta (Five Points), starting at 8 a.m.: 1 hour, 35 minutes; three transfers; 0.3 miles walking; and $7.50 worth of fares

Downtown Atlanta (Five Points) to Downtown Marietta, starting at 5 p.m.: 1 hour, 2 minutes; three transfers; 0.4 miles walking; and $10 worth of fares

(Conclusion: Getting between these downtowns probably isn't worth $17.50 — and three transfers).

...
Duluth (Sugarloaf Mills) to Downtown Atlanta (Five Points), starting at 8 a.m.: 1 hour, 2 minutes; 1 transfer; 1.5 miles walking; and $7.50 worth of fares

Downtown Atlanta (Five Points) to Duluth (Sugarloaf Mills), starting at 5 p.m.: 1 hour, 12 minutes; two transfers; 0.7 miles walking; and $10 worth of fares

(Conclusion: ditto).

...
Kennesaw (Kennesaw State University) to Buckhead (Lenox Square Mall), starting at 8 a.m.: 2 hours, 17 minutes; two transfers; 0.6 miles of walking; and $7.50 worth of fares

Buckhead (Lenox Square Mall) to Kennesaw (Kennesaw State University), starting at 5 p.m.: 2 hours, 9 minutes; two transfers; 0.6 miles of walking; and $7.50 worth of fares.

(Conclusion: sounds like good, but expensive, exercise.)

...
Buford (Mall of Georgia) to Buckhead (Lenox Square Mall), starting at 8 a.m.: Who knows? Despite the entered time, the site repeatedly tries to make you depart Buford at 4:03 p.m. !

Buckhead (Lenox Square Mall) to Buford (Mall of Georgia), starting at 5 p.m.: 1 hour, 25 minutes; one transfer; 0.8 miles walking; and $6.50 worth of fares.

(Conclusion: brain meltdown.)


— By Curbed Atlanta Contributor Tyler Estep