How to Get Around Atlanta Using MARTA

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is made up of Atlanta's subway and bus system. The bus system, which began in 1972, and the light rail system, which started in 1979, transport thousands of Atlanta residents and visitors to the city's most popular spots. Read on to learn the ins and outs of getting around Atlanta using MARTA.

1. Know the hours of operation. Trains and buses operate from 5:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 5:00 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. on weekends. During peak hours (weekdays from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.) trains run every 10 minutes. Trains run every 20 minutes during non-peak times and holidays. Bus schedules vary depending on the individual bus line.

2. Study the MARTA route map. There are four routes for MARTA rail: the North-South line, which takes passengers from North Springs to the Airport; the East-West line, which takes riders from the Hamilton E. Holmes station to Indian Creek; the Proctor Creek line, which runs from Bankhead to Candler Park (with a stop at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial) and the Northeast-South line, which runs from Doraville to the airport. MARTA buses have numerous routes that go all over the city and neighboring counties.

3. Utilize MARTA shuttles. Three special shuttles take passengers from certain rail stations to particular points of interest. These include the Braves Stadium shuttle from the Five Points station, the Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre shuttle from the Lakewood/Ft. McPherson station and the Six Flags shuttle from the Hamilton E. Holmes station. Shuttles are free with a paid rail ride.

4. Pay for your MARTA experience using a Breeze Card. Breeze Cards are preloaded with cash and can be used to pay for bus or rail fares. Simply tap your Breeze Card on the Breeze Reader at subway stations or on the Breeze Fare Boxes on the buses and the necessary fare is deducted from your card. Breeze Cards can be reloaded at vending machines at subway stations or at Breeze Fare Boxes on buses.

5. Park your car at certain MARTA stations. If you are planning to take MARTA to the airport, chances are you might want to utilize a MARTA long-term parking lot. Fees vary by lot, and not all MARTA stations have parking, so check the MARTA for particulars before you depart for your trip