MARTA Bus Service Changes Confuses Some Atlanta Residents | WABE 90.1 FM

MARTA Bus Service Changes Confuses Some Atlanta Residents

Aug 4, 2017

MARTA is changing 19 bus routes in the west, south and southwest parts of Atlanta starting Saturday, Aug. 5. Ten of the bus routes include segments where the bus will no longer travel through.

Debra Wilburn lives in the Centra Villa Apartments, along a half-mile stretch of road where four bus stops are shutting down on Route 81.

Wilburn is 62 and said the closures could mean a trip to the doctor will take her twice as long because she may have to walk further.

"There's a lot of elderly people here and they got to do the same thing and it's not making sense," Wilburn said.

Vanessa Skaggs is one of the many residents in Atlanta that will be affected by the change in MARTA's routes
Credit Ada Montgomery / WABE

Vanessa Skaggs, Wilburn’s neighbor, said she takes the bus each weekday to Greenbriar Mall.

"We don't know what's going on. [They're] still hiding us in the dark," Skaggs said.

MARTA Assistant General Manager Ben Limmer said the transit agency makes these kinds of service route changes three times a year.

"Some of the bus routes have been straightened out and the stops have been put in locations where the most folks can access the bus system," Limmer said.

MARTA's changes to Route 81 are meant to connect more people who live near the Adams Recreation Center to more areas. 

Limmer said Route 83 along Campbellton Road, which runs perpendicular to the current Route 81, is the most popular in the MARTA bus system with more than 4,350 riders on an average weekday. The changes to the routes could make it more crowded.

Near the area where the soon-to-be-closed bus stops is All-N-1 Beauty Supply. Robbie Conwell, the store's owner, credited the bus stops for bringing customers to his store.

“[The bus] makes it possible for people who do ride the bus to be able to get closer access to my business,” Conwell said.

MARTA said it has held public hearings on the route changes, but they also plan to meet with senior citizens in the area next week to gather feedback.