How to Get Around Atlanta

Atlanta is not a complicated city to explore. Visitors just need to equip themselves with the knowledge on the travelling practices of the city locals, the means of transport they usually employ, and their rules to live by when getting around the city of Atlanta. The most common modes of transport in this city are mainly train, bus, taxi or car.

By Train

Atlanta has a fairly extensive railway system that operates within the city limits. Visitors can reach almost any corner of the city by means of the railway network. The city’s subway system is operated by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority or MARTA. This rapid rail or subway system, which has been operating since 1979, allows visitors to travel conveniently by offering modernized and clean stations as well as reliable services. Visitors are advised to ride the subway during day time when the train is not so cramped with riders which is usually the case during early evenings. On a daily basis, the MARTA rail way, which ideally arrives and departs every eight to ten minutes from 5:00 A.M. to 1:00 A.M., transports over half million passengers, despite the general belief that traveling via the subway in big cities like Atlanta is unsafe. It is observed that most frequent riders are more confident than irregular riders when it comes to the security of the trains and stations. Currently, the MARTA operates 40 train stations with plans to increase the number to about 45 stations. It has two lines namely, the South-North trains, which pass from the airport to Doraville and North Springs; and the East-West trains that move from Indian Creek to Hamilton Holmes. The two lines intersect in the downtown area at Five Points Station where visitors can transfer to another train at no charge. In the The Martalatter part of 2000, the MARTA subway added the Sandy Springs and North Springs stations to its north line which is parallel to Georgia Highway 400. Standard fare is $1.75 for single rides but multiple passes are also available.

By Bus

Buses are another way of getting around the city of Atlanta. Buses generally cover almost any part of the city limits. Similar to the subway system, the bus network in Atlanta is operated by MARTA. The MARTA buses transport the riders to most of the city’s major tourist spots and excursion stops. Visitors just need to be patient as waiting periods between buses are long and bus travels can be slow. MARTA buses operate 150 routes for around 1,500 miles. Standard fare is also $1.75 and passengers are advised to bring either an exact fare or a Breeze Card. Special shuttle buses generally operate in the downtown area which transport passengers to the city’s major conventions and stadium sports events.

By Taxi

Taxis are another convenient way to get around the busy city of Atlanta. Taxis or cabs await passengers outside the major hotels, the airport, the Underground Atlanta, and most MARTA train stations; however, it is not always possible to hail cabs outside the MARTA subway stations, with the exception of those in the downtown area. In cases like these, it is advisable for visitors to employ the MARTA white assistance phone available at the station and MARTA will be the one to call the cab for them.
Standard taxi fares vary across different zones in Atlanta. In the downtown area, flat rate per rider is $5.00 plus $1.00 per additional passenger. Flat rates per passenger are $30.00 from downtown Atlanta to the airport, $32.00 from the airport to midtown area, and $38.00 from the airport to Buckhead, plus $2.00 for each additional rider in each of the three destinations. Standard Atlanta taxi fare outside said zones is $1.50 flag down rate up to the first 1/6 mile, plus $0.20 for each additional 1/6 mile, and a flat rate of $1.00 per additional rider. Waiting period is $15.00 per hour.

By Car

Visitors can also get around Atlanta by car but this mode of transport is not advisable during entertainment, sporting events and conventions because the streets of Atlanta are generally congested during such times. Just like in every big city, heavy traffic is commonplace in Atlanta, particularly in the interstates, during rush hours which are generally between 6:30-9:00 AM and 3:30-7:00 PM. But the good thing about this city is that car rentals and parking are not a problem in Atlanta. Cheap but secure parking abound in the city and car rental agencies usually offer package deals to visiting tourists.

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