Additional parking spaces added for new riders
Following the Interstate 85 bridge collapse, many DeKalb County commuters are choosing MARTA for their transportation needs—some for the first time.
As a result, MARTA officials announced the addition of new parking spaces at some of the more crowded MARTA stations thanks to a partnership with AT&T.
At least 750 new parking spaces were added in “high-traffic” stations including 100 additional parking spaces at the Doraville station.
“In the wake of the I-85 bridge collapse, many of our parking lots reached capacity by 7:30 a.m. or even earlier in some instances,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Keith Parker. “In addition to the 750 spaces added by AT&T, we previously opened more than 1,600 spaces.”
In total, MARTA added roughly 2,400 parking spaces since the 1-85 bridge collapse in late March.
According to company officials, MARTA also hired additional parking attendants and increased MARTA Police Department presence around the expanded parking lots and decks.
“We are all dealing with a new, albeit temporary, reality of the Atlanta commute,” said Bill Leahy, Georgia AT&T president. “We hope that this additional parking space at MARTA stations will encourage local travelers to utilize our city’s convenient and time-saving public transportation options.”
Erik Burton, senior director of MARTA media relations, said the transportation company wants to make sure they “get it right.”
The bridge collapse happened while most DeKalb County students were out on vacation, which allowed MARTA additional time to prepare for extra riders, Burton said.
Roughly 275 parking spots were added to Chamblee’s MARTA station and 175 were added to Brookhaven/Oglethorpe.
“We put a keen focus on being as proactive as possible,” Burton said. “Being proactive is a necessity to get people to and from work. [Interstate] 85 is a major corridor and even the back roads and [Interstate] 285 are backed up.”
MARTA also launched a real-time website for riders to monitor which parking stations are at capacity. Since the addition of parking spaces, Burton said he’s noticed a difference.
“[April 24] I looked at the site [itsmarta.com/parking] and adding additional AT&T parking spots has been a tremendous help expanding our capacity,” Burton said.
“They’ve been an excellent group to join in on this effort and I’m excited to see this made an impact. We saw that as a number one concern and we noticed those lots would fill up quickly, so we made the adjustment. We want riders to stay with us and we want to make sure we get it right.”
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