Ride the Q!
Amid all the service cuts that have been plagueing MARTA, there has been one diamond in the rough that isn’t getting much in terms of publicity. On Monday, the Q took it’s first go around the block. The Q is a BRT route new to Memorial Drive, consisting of the Q Express and the Q Limited.
BRT stands for bus rapid transit and is designed to provide a faster and more efficient service than a standard local bus line, like the 121 which serves the same area down Memorial. This faster service is acheived two ways. The Q Express has limited stops, originating from a new park and ride at Goldsmith and Memorial near Stone Mountain, and terminating at Kensington Station, and the Q Limited as a few more stops, originating at E. Ponce and Mountain Industrial. The second way that the BRT is faster is that it has the ability to “hold a green,” meaning that it has some signal priority and can zip down Memorial a little quicker.
These BRT routes have been in the works for a while now, in fact, they began building the park and ride well over a year ago. This means that they were planned before the service cuts, so I don’t want to hear any gripping about wasting money on this while MARTA cut other service. From what I hear, that’s the reason why these routes haven’t been widely advertised, because of the fear of back lash. I don’t blame them, the average MARTA rider doesn’t seem to get the concept of capital versus operating and all that funding jazz.
These routes are designed to be commuter lines, so don’t expect to be catching one on Sunday. To find out more, or to get a schedule, check out the MARTA website. And if you live in Stone Mountain, you probably aren’t reading this, but try it out! I guarentee it’s a better commute option than driving down 78.
Now, let’s take guesses as to what Q stands for!