Atlanta Bus System

Innovation Idea-Research

2, ديسمبر 2010


Further exploration of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority or MARTA for short:


  • MARTA is the ninth-largest transit system in the United states
  • It was originally designed solely as a bus system in 1971 but now has developed into transit system enterprise with a bus system and rapid transit system that consists of 48 miles of rail track with 38 train stations.
  • MARTA operates in Fulton and DeKalb County with two stops in Cobb County.

Birth of the Breeze Card:

  • A token-based fare collection system was available for commuters prior to the “Breeze” card conversion.
  • The “Breeze” card system was implemented in September of 2006.
  • The card system proved to be a quick success, and the token system ceased to exist immediately after the implementation.
  • The card system offers two options:
  • 1)  Limited-use ticket for visitors and other “light” users (with an additional 50 cent fee required)
  • 2) Extended-use card for frequent MARTA users who need load time-based passes (with is $1)
  • MARTA operates 365 days a year

Government Control:

  • MARTA is a multi-country agency that is governed by a board of directors
  • This board of directors consists of representatives appointed from the city of Atlanta and counties of Fulton and DeKalb
  • The highest position at MARTA is the general manager and chief executive officer


  • MARTA has had two fatal accidents, both in 2000.
  • In addition to these accidents, MARTA trains have derailed four times.
  • In 2007 MARTA had three separated escalator accidents that injured at least 11 people.

Going Green with MARTA:

  • MARTA takes more than 185,000 cars off the roads every day
  • MARTA’s entire bus fleet uses clean fuel technology, which significantly reduces air pollutants in the Atlanta region
  • GO MARTA!!

Elevator Pitch-MARTA Bus Stops

22, نوفمبر 2010

Victoria Acevedo, Will McCollum, Linda Ortiz, Georgia Wang

For fellow pedestrians who rely on MARTA as a way of transportation in Atlanta

Who are dissatisfied with the organization and safety of MARTA services

Our innovation offering is lit up bus stops

That provides information about the routes, times, and safety to those who wait for a bus at the stop

Unlike the present small, confusing MARTA signs and bus time pamphlets

Our innovation is a well-lit, safe bus stop that is enhanced with informational touch screen technology that will provide information about routes, times of arrival/departure and tourist attractions of Atlanta 

Innovation Idea

15, نوفمبر 2010

Will McCollum, Victoria Acevedo, Linda Ortiz, Georgia Wang

We are going to explore and ideate ways to solve Atlanta Transportation issues focusing on the bus routes.

After taking a ride on a MARTA bus routes, we have found many problems with Atlanta’s MARTA bus transportation system. They and their possible solutions include:

  • There are no signs coming out of the stations to orientate the commuters. People come out and have no idea what direction they are facing and this often leads to confusion and added time to the commute if the commuter is not familiar to the Atlanta area. New, detailed signs and maps should be created to direct the passengers.
  • At the bus stop in the station, there are a lot of people sitting down on cold marble slabs waiting for the bus. Sometimes these seats are all full and there is no space. People have to sit on the curb or lean on columns to await the often late bus. The creation of more effective seating should be implemented to the MARTA stations. It would not hurt if they looked good either.
  • It gets cold in the winter and MARTA bus stops are situated outside. Waiting outside in the cold for a late bus is very uncomfortable for the people who are putting their money in the MARTA transportation business. The creation of a new bus stop design that implements a closed in area or heating lamps would help decrease the effects of the cold on the commuters.
  • When buying a MARTA ticket, the atmosphere was really dark and unsafe. There should be more lights and emergency stations in order to create a safer feeling.
  • If people are having issues buying a ticket or is having a problem in the MARTA station, there is no one stationed to help them. Like the subway system in New York City, there should be a Customer Service booth with an employee stationed to help those who are lost or having issues with the ticketing machines.
  • The buses are almost always twenty minutes later than shown on the  bus schedule. This leaves many passengers stuck to wait for the bus. A bus timing system, like nextbus, could be implemented on screens at the stops and could be assessed through personal technologies.
  • MARTA is not very friendly. It does not look good, it does not smell good, and the rides are often uncomfortable. You also have to be familiar with the Atlanta area in order to use MARTA efficiently. Creating a more family and passenger friendly MARTA could make more people use it to travel throughout Atlanta. This new efficient MARTA could also expand its advertisements and services for the different tourist spots in Atlanta.
  • When getting on the MARTA bus, I was not sure on what to do with my ticket. In order to avoid this confusion, clear instructions should be placed on the stops instead of in the buses, where the hustle and bustle of commuting would distract.
  • In the buses, the passenger windows are dangerously tinted. One cannot clearly see the road outside or the bus stops. The windows should be cleared and a better way to tint should be found.
  • The bus stops of MARTA are scattered throughout Atlanta.  It is difficult to know where all of them are located. A real time map should be put in each bus to tell the location of the bus and where each stop is located.
  • When riding the bus, the handles located on the poles of the bus never give me enough support on the moving bus. A redesign of the handle could be an effective change.