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Why is there no bus stop next to Atlanta’s Amtrak Station?

This image below is from 2017. In the foreground, on the right, is a MARTA bus stop that used to exist. To the left is the Amtrak station on Peachtree Road – Atlanta’s only intercity passenger rail station. 


This second image shows what that corner that used to have a bus shelter looks like today, from the other direction. No bus stop. 


A couple of years ago, GDOT decided to take away part of the sidewalk on this section of Peachtree Road (which is a state route) to create a turning lane for the sake of car flow. That meant the bus stop had to go, since you can’t put a stop on a turning lane. 

The only allowable place to put the southbound bus stop was two long blocks away, past the interstate highway, where it sits now. There is currently no convenient connection between Atlanta’s Intercity rail stop and the MARTA system. That’s insane. Imagine slogging across the I-85 bridge in bad weather, with luggage, for two blocks to get to a bus. Imagine it with kids in tow.

MARTA, Georgia’s Department of Transportation & Atlanta need to work together to help transit riders

Why was there no interagency cooperation to correct this? MARTA, GDOT, and the City of Atlanta need to fix this situation at the Amtrak station. But they also need to fix this insensible void in common-sense partnerships and communication. Getting around without a car is hard enough in Atlanta. We shouldn’t be making it harder.

Local journalist Maria Saporta put it well in a recent post about this lack of a bus connection for Amtrak, saying:

“Not only does a bus stop need to be near the station door, there’s a another issue to address: Why was there no cooperation to ensure an appropriately-convenient MARTA connection for travelers? The least we can do – I mean the very least we can do – is to have a MARTA bus stop next to our only AMTRAK station. Seriously, who are the government bureaucrats who made the decision to eliminate a convenient intermodal stop…did MARTA have to go along with the ill-conceived plan? And where was the city’s voice in this decision?“

Great questions. Atlanta transit riders need for MARTA and GDOT and the City to be allies, working together to create safe, convenient routes that connect people to buses, and common-sense placement of bus stops near activity centers like this station.

We’ve sent emails to Atlanta Councilmember J. P. Matzigeit (this is in his district), the GDOT board, and to MARTA to ask for action on this.