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How you can help MARTA redesign its bus routes

The transit authority is asking residents to fill out a quick survey to help them design the city's bus routes around the public's priorities.

ATLANTA — The Metro Atlanta Transit Authority is looking for input in helping redesign bus routes in 2022.

Back in November, the public transit authority stated that it is struggling with absenteeism among its staff, forcing MARTA to cancel routes or change ride schedules last minute. 

Now, the transit authority is asking residents to fill out a quick survey to help them design the city's bus routes around the public's priorities. After all, your taxes do go to the bus service.

The survey presents two options for riders to choose from, with MARTA saying "both concepts assume that MARTA can run the same amount of bus service as it did in late 2019, just before the pandemic." The transit authority added that it cannot add more service and hard decisions need to be made. 

So, what are these two concepts? One will focus heavily on ridership; being able to "be useful to more people, so that more people ride." Essentially, the idea is that MARTA will focus its resources on the routes with the most people and destinations, allowing riders in those congested areas to get to their destination quicker. MARTA predicts that efficiency will lead to an increase in riders and money from fares.

The second option focuses on coverage; providing "some service to as many people as possible, including all existing riders." This will provide the widest area of service across Atlanta; however with a likely tradeoff of speed and frequency in terms of getting where you need to go. MARTA also predicts this option will lead to fewer riders due to long wait times.

Those looking for a more in-depth, side-by-side comparison of the two plans can view them online.

The transit authority noted though that none are final proposals, but rather rough concepts to better gauge what aspect of the service is most important to riders.