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Bus Bridge Awesomeness

March 11, 2010

Sometimes MARTA has some track problems that cause them to close a station or a section of track competely; this is no single tracking business at all. They do this for major problems, like flooded tracks, crazy people going for strolls down the tunnels, and suspicious packages (aka bomb imposters). I think they also do this for the MARTA employee picnics, so they can use the third rail for cooking hot dogs and hamburgers.  I hear it’s a rapid cook sort of deal.  Feed the masses in minutes so they can get back in their buses and drive me down Ponce.

But what happens when MARTA closes a portion of the track or when they’re hungry?  Can you go no further towards your destination of choice, thereby having to call work and call in MARTA?  O no, folks, MARTA comes to the rescue with the Bus Bridge.

Now, I’ve never actually experienced a bus bridge before.  The one time it was an option for me, Two got us a zip car instead, totally killing my chances of bus bridging.  So I can’t say from experience what exactly it is, I can just tell you my understanding of it as a transit novice. 

When bridging, the buses ferry passengers to bridge the gap in train service.  So when there’s a closure on the train line, the train will stop at the furthest most station and the helpful station agents and MARTA police will kindly, and friendly, kick you off.  They may not tell you why there’s a closure, it’s not really their job.  They just make you go away.  It’s an exercise in Rider Herding, and I hear that’s pretty close to herding cats.  I mean, when we were faced with the bridging awesomeness, Two and I went upstairs, tottled around, played with our phones, and then went back down and got on the train to go south again.  We were a herding fail.  Sorry MARTA.

Once the passengers hop on a bus, I suppose whichever one is just idling around outside the station, the handy dandy driver takes them to the next station so they can get back on a train to go where ever.  I bet it’s pretty rad.  I don’t know if they take a normal route or an extra special bridge route, but I’m hoping for the latter.

So I’m anxiously awaiting the next MARTA picnic or bomb threat or something so I can ride on a bus bridge.  But if you’re ever faced with it, you shouldn’t worry, assuming you don’t stray from the herd.

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