I can bet mad money that quality assurance, comfort-ability, and everyday commonsense had nothing to do with developing the concept of public transportation. At least, those things weren’t factored into Atlanta’s: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). Alright, comfort-ability may be a bit of a stretch. People often laugh when I say MARTA’s passengers should get a complimentary bottle of water in the summer and hot cocoa in the winter. I used to say this jokingly but now, i’m slick serious…
The decline of MARTA is one that many everyday passengers, like me, have been experiencing quite rapidly in recent years. The gist of the explanation for this decline was blamed on something about the economy and the government not wanting to help with funding and the region and something about cash…. BASICALLY all the excuses that sound nice. Meanwhile, the fare consistently increases.
Atlanta is a city that I have personally watched grow and develop since the early 90’s. The evolution on this city is very unique. With that being said, there is still a long way to go. Atlanta is considered to be a major southern metropolis. When I think about a major city, New York is always the original blue print that comes to mind. Most people are out and about in the streets experiencing city life. I think of crowded sidewalks and streets jammed with yellow cabs, and everything else. Most people in major cities take public transportation for several reasons. One being, it’s easier to navigate through city congestion. Plus, it’s greener on the environment. Most major cities have better transit systems that are more organized and most run 24 hours. It is hard for me to personally put Atlanta on the same level considering MARTA inadequacies.
It’s hard for me to consider Atlanta to be a MAJOR, MAJOR city with a transit system like ours. Public transportation as a whole is not going to be glamorous. You’re exposed to all kinds of people, risks, and germs but damn, roaches? MARTA has a serious problem with roaches on many of their bus. These roaches clearly live on the bus. You can tell. They are acclimated to bus life and people (I AM DEAD SERIOUS). Since people started catching wind to these roaches on the bus, the transit system decided to post these signs on their buses with a cartoon roach promoting no eating and drinking. Now, MARTA knows good and hell well that the operator of any bus is going to say something if you whip out some food and start chowing down. FAIL….
Today, you can only use the bathroom at the central transit center, 5 points. So if you just so happen to be at the end of one of the lines, you better hope you don’t have to go. If not, you may have to do the unthinkable…. Just sayin.’ MARTA moves approximately half a million people throughout the city daily.
Now that fare for a one way ticket is $2.50, A HUGE HIKE FROM $1.75, makes a round trip anywhere $5.00. I could somewhat be okay with the fare hike if the quality of service improved. MARTA has done the exact opposite. One of the first major things that they did was cut a major amount of bus routes. The majority of those routes were the ones that went through the hood. Mainly the heart of Zone 1 (the bluff). That is actually part of the reason why I moved out of zone 1 and into a different spot that was within walking distance to a train station. The bus service is completely horrible and to be honest, the train service is getting there too. Outside of not being able to use the bathroom at any station other than 5 points, they single track more than they say they do. I understand that single tracking is for maintenance and functionality purposes but, they single track so much that I get nervous. Are the tracks that rusty? DAMN.
Instead of putting up these pointless obesity ads that exploit under aged overweight children, why not go back to the drawing board? up the advertisement rates and command more. Hell, MARTA has already commanded so much from their patrons monetarily. In every MARTA station they have Coke machines that are selling hot soft drinks for $2.00. This is problematic for so many reasons. One, they are obviously overpriced. Having the coke machines are a complete backhand to the face especially, when the drink machine is almost strategically placed near one of these, “fight-childhood-obesity ads”. Not to mention federal law states that it is unlawful to eat or drink on MARTA. I quoted that last line from the audio recording that states that to all the customers that use their system. Sooooo, you mean to tell me that they sell these hot drinks in their facilities but you can’t drink them until you are done traveling? THE FUKK??? This sounds like a set up.
I can go on and on about this topic but honestly, I’m tired of typing. I will leave you with these closing remarks:
Be careful on MARTA because MARTA Police are now Killing people on the west side ( Vine City).
R.I.P Joetavius Stafford
Photo Credit: clatl.com