Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ride the Bus

Never in my life did I think that I would be a promoter of public transportation. In fact, I have been about as anti-public transportation as it gets for as long as I can remember. Too confusing, too dirty, too many people, too inconvenient, you name it, I had a reason why it should not be used.

Until now.

It is a well-known opinion that Atlanta's public transportation (MARTA) is rather, well, unhelpful. While I am not here to dispute the effectiveness of MARTA, I thought I'd do a little PSA regarding my best practices and ways to utilize the system.

I take the bus to work just about every single day. Parking at our office is $110/month versus MARTA unlimited pass at $60/month. They also have a student discount if you are still a student (or know one...) It takes me 30 minutes door to door using MARTA, 15 driving, so while my commute has doubled, my cost was cut almost in half.

I have found the most useful bus route to be the 110 The Peach bus. It goes from Lenox Mall all the way to Five Points Station straight down Peachtree. I have taken this route to football games, out to the bar on the weekend (both in Buckead & in Midtown), to the airport...the list is endless. The stops are frequent so if you live close to Peachtree Road, you are probably close to a 110 bus stop. One thing to remember: going south on Peachtree, every other 110 bus stops at Arts Center Station and turns back around to go north. Just look at the front of the bus and if it says Five Points, you're probably good to go. Or, you can ask the bus driver, but don't be surprised if you get a snippity response. You may be the 98049320th person to ask the same question, you'd be testy too.

Just recently I decided I needed to put my Marta pass to better use and not just ride up and down Peachtree Street. Google Maps to the rescue! Did you know it will show you bus routes to your destination along with times? It's pretty awesome. I was leaving work and going to dinner on Howell Mill Road. I put the addresses into Google Maps and turns out, there was a bus that left from the 10th Street Station (#12), traveled down 10th street to Howell Mill and turned north, dropping me off RIGHT in front of the restaurant! No changing buses, no fuss, no muss. It was so easy!

A little more research showed that I could also take a bus very easily into the Highlands. Who needs a taxi when you have a bus? Granted, it does take a little more time, but let me just tell you...the stories you walk away with are often worth it.

Anyway, perhaps you are feeling enlightened or perhaps you are thinking I am a whacko for dedicating an entire post to the zoo that is Atlanta public transportation, but I hope you are at least a little bit more informed and less intimidated by MARTA buses!

Maybe some other day I'll make a whole post regarding the things I have seen (and wish I hadn't seen) on MARTA buses. Last night was a "I wish there were more people like that" moment, which does happen more often than you'd think.

1 comment:

  1. If only it weren't for the implied pitty from the other people at the destination and the offers to give me a ride home even though its out of their way...