With little near-term relief in sight for Atlanta’s busy roads, residents continue to turn to MARTA as a means of traversing the city.
Not surprisingly, the most popular destination for riders continues to be their respective workplaces. In fact, for the first six months of fiscal year 2017, 61 percent of all riders used MARTA for traveling to and from work, the transit agency tells Curbed Atlanta.
But in terms of actual transit stations, three hubs in Atlanta reign supreme.
A great majority of daily riders travel through the Five Points station downtown, easily making it the busiest rail station in the entire transit network. Over the past year, an average of nearly 17,000 riders entered the Five Points station each weekday, with another combined total of 15,000 riders on the weekend.
1. Five Points
Opened in 1979, the Five Points station serves as the hub of MARTA rail lines, with both the north/south and east/west lines crisscrossing through the station. This station was originally built to serve as a civic plaza as well as a rail station. At one time, there was an amphitheater on that plaza, but it has since been closed.
The station also connects to Underground Atlanta, where residents and visitors alike (occasionally) go for shopping, dining, and entertainment as well as specialty events like Atlanta’s annual Peach Drop on New Year’s Eve.
Unlike most MARTA hubs, Five Points offers no parking.
2. College Park
South of the Five Points station, the College Park station experiences the second-highest average day entries, with more than 10,000 riders on weekdays and nearly 11,000 riders on the weekend. Built in 1988, this station sits right across from Main Street in College Park.
This thriving business district is home to such popular restaurants as Urban Foodie Feed Depot and the Corner Grille as well as many service and shopping destinations.
It’s worth noting that College Park made a valiant run in the most recent Curbed Cup tournament, finishing in second place after being edged (barely) by East Atlanta in the Finals.
Both residents and visitors utilize MARTA’s third busiest station, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The last stop on MARTA’s south line, the airport station also opened in 1988, and today sees an average weekday rider entry of more than 9,000. On weekends, more than 14,500 riders take advantage of rail service to and from the airport.
While these three MARTA rail stations see a high volume of riders on a daily basis, they are by no means the only stations frequented throughout the city. Residents also take advantage of transit service to attend Atlanta’s many sporting and special events throughout the year. Think Music Midtown, annual parades, festivals at Centennial Olympic Park, and sporting events at Philips Arena, the newly opened Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and Georgia Tech.
As Atlanta continues to grow and evolve––inflicted by the traffic accompanying such growth––more residents could turn to MARTA as an alternative transportation option, especially as the system sees a $2.5-billion boost approved by taxpayers over coming decades. As they do, it’ll be interesting to see if these top three destinations are replaced with other stations.
- Recent MARTA news, discussion [Curbed Atlanta]