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MARTA to get new trains, Wi-Fi throughout, mobile payment

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A contract for new cars, worth $1 billion, should be signed early this year.

A MARTA train arriving at a crowded platform at Five Points Station. JTesFaye

When MARTA began rail service in 1979, technology was of course much different than today. But surprisingly, the original trains the system opened with are still running nearly four decades later.

That’s all set to change.

Curbed Atlanta

According to WABE, MARTA plans to replace its entire rail fleet. The project will bring new, modern cars, which are easier to load and unload and more comfortable for passengers.

While the design of the cars remains a mystery for now, new trains should be a major step forward for the system.

In addition to modernized train cars, MARTA is planning less-noticeable capital improvements that would include bringing Wi-Fi to the entire rail network. The technology boost would allow riders to surf the web while riding the rails, even underground.

The agency also intends to roll out a mobile ticketing and payment system that was piloted last year.

Officials say the Wi-Fi upgrade and mobile ticketing will be launched sometime this year. Meanwhile, the $1-billion contract for new trains will be signed in the first six months of 2018, but don’t expect to see new trains for a few years.