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When Ragging on MARTA, Choose a Location That Actually Doesn’t Have Good Service

June 27, 2011
tags: , ,

Despite my official, purposeful ignorance of politics, most things local, and other people’s opinions, I do occasionally read blogs and things. Trivial things, like What Now, Atlanta? which/who covers openings, closings and new developments. I like them, those trivial things, that occasionally provide information or watercooler chatter, even though I don’t drink water.

Take this post about how Midtown Promenade is adding more parking, and also tangentially, MARTA fucking sucks. Wait, what? Actually, on second reading, MARTA fucking sucks, and tangentially, Midtown Promenade is adding more parking.

Public transit in Atlanta sucks…And is Marta really “smarta?”
Well, yeah, at least from the financial perspective you’ve put out there, recommending gas-guzzlers and all.

Think really hard about this one, Marta fans: our commuter rail system only travels in the four cardinal directions (and the short northeast line).
Firstly, technically the Gold line is full length from Airport to Doraville, traveling a distance equivalent to about 25 miles of road (according to directions on Google maps). Where the segment deviates Northeast from the dual line at Lindbergh through to Doraville is equivalent to about eight miles of road. Also, the Northeast line came first.
Secondly, don’t act like there aren’t buses that go every which way all over town, including two routes, the 36 and 99, that drop you off right in front of the Midtown Promenade. Well, it would be right in front of the Promenade if the parking lot wasn’t in the way. But I digress.

More digression:
Sounds like Marta was designed for tourists… because Braves games, trips to see the Thrashers, Falcons or Hawks, Six Flags, The Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia and the airport.
Braves games, Six Flags and Stonecrest all require rail-to-bus transfer. (Well, I guess define “require,” because the able-bodied could surely walk to Turner Field from rail.) But if you’re not inclined to mention that a bus goes to the Promenade, why mention other places to which a trip on the bus is needed or available?
As for the assertion that MARTA was created for tourists… As someone who was once a foreigner to the crown jewel of the South (or whateverthefuckingfuck that lame nickname is), I can definitely say that MARTA wasn’t created with the easily-lost in mind. Not saying I got lost or anything but, yanno, tourists, they do that.
And maybe if so many people in the metro area didn’t act like tourists once they crossed into the city, Atlanta and public transit in general wouldn’t be so doggone shit-upon.

Back to the Promenade. So yes, buses go there. Even on a Friday night. To be fair, the new 99 schedule is confusing as three balls in one sack, and truthfully, much less nightlife-convenient. Something about going to two different stations and stuff and holy jeeze. However, it’s still grand for daytime shopping access.
The 36 will drop you off in a nightlife-friendly time frame, but won’t be there to pick you up. This is unfortunately true of all of MARTA’s bus routes. They’re going-out friendly, but not coming-home friendly. That sucks for 3rd shift workers and drinkers alike, ’tis true. However, if you’re a 3rd shift drinker, your best option is still totally NOT driving*! Cabs are there, at Midtown Promenade, hovering like vultures to our drunken carrion. Also, a cab ride doesn’t hit the pocket so hard with all the money you save being carfree!

So where does that take us?
Well, it takes me to two jobs, the grocery store, the bar, and pretty much everything else I can think of that I need to do and get to. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: MARTA doesn’t go nowhere. If you’re going to nowhere, you’re pretty much fucked, and you might want to reconsider your life choices thus far. If you’re going somewhere, like the Midtown Promenade, you’ve got transit options. It’s not dreamy, but it’s something. And instead of crying out against it, a little bit of support can help bring it closer to perfect.

*Seriously, don’t fucking drink and drive.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 30, 2011 4:44 pm

    Most of the time when I read “MARTA Sucks” in an online comment. my brain does a trick. It instantly reprocesses that phrase as:

    “The support for transit vs. car infrastructure at the metro and state level sucks. Also, the ability of Atlanta’s interstate-riddled landscape to support efficient transit routes sucks. MARTA does a good job of working within those confines.”

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