How is the MARTA comparable to the Metro in dc (smoothness, on time, other riders). I’m looking at apartments near stations to get to work but I’m out of the state and won’t be able to check them out before I move in

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I’ve lived in both DC and Boston and used the public transportations systems in both cities. I currently use MARTA to get around (both the train and the busses) and it’s very efficient, timely, and clean. I use Google Maps for the schedules, and they always arrive on time. As far as cleanliness and other passengers, it’s actually SUPER clean - most likely because there aren’t a lot of passengers. When I’m on the bus during the week, I’m usually the only person. When I’m on the train, usually there will be 2-3 other people waiting at the station. Not a lot of riff-raff but that’s just from my experience. I’m a female so I’m always careful anyway!

Guarantee you every other person on this thread will advise you not to take it, but as someone who has lived in areas where public transport is essential, I can tell you MARTA is just fine. In fact, I moved here a few months ago and still haven’t purchased a car because I’ve been able to get everywhere I need to with MARTA and sometimes Uber. I’m thinking it can save me a few dollars during the pandemic when I don’t have many places to go!


Was also expecting the reaction you are describing. Pleasantly surprised how positive everyone is about marta now.


Train is clean and timely. I have used it for years to get to/from Hartsfield.


If you are female I highly suggest you avoid the MARTA after dark. I have had so many unpleasant experiences with harassment. Day time is fine


I’ve lived in DC and Atlanta and ridden both. 2 big differences in my opinion:

1. Stigma in Atlanta. I don’t understand it, but I often encountered negativity around riding MARTA. Owning a vehicle is more of a status symbol versus personal choice, environmentally friendly option, etc. “Oh, can you not afford a car?” was actually bluntly asked of me once and I feel a fairly accurate representation of general reactions I encountered. In DC, you run into all classes of people on the Metro, and I’ve never experienced this assumption of taking train = poor.

2. Location of stops. This might be commentary more on the cities as a whole versus MARTA specifically, but I found it much harder to live in Atlanta without a car than DC. Stops do not take you to a lot of places you will want to go (think Georgetown, but more of that). It’s hard to find places where restaurants, grocery, dry cleaners, pharmacy, etc. are all within a few stops. Plan to Uber more.

Other than these 2 things, I found MARTA to be a solid option. Smoothness is better than Metro. Never had a major issue with timing.


MARTA is usually ok on the weekdays, but don't ever take it on the weekends. The trains come less frequently of course, but they will be late. I've tried using it on weekends multiple times and a majority of the time, the train comes upwards of an hour after the scheduled time.


Look at housing options near Lindbergh. There’s Kroger/target within walking distance and some bars/nightlife close by. Timing wise it would probably take as long as driving to the office in the morning if not a bit quicker.

Agreed that there’s a certain stigma and it’s largely still driven by racism here. I’d definitely recommend having a vehicle but also do appreciate the convenience it offers to and from the airport etc. not too sketchy until you get towards the south side of town.


Don’t disagree it isn’t “bad” - my biggest caution would be what else is Lindbergh walkable to besides Marta. That area is (I think!) on the up though.


I haven’t taken MARTA during the pandemic. I used to live right on the line and it was great to get to work etc. but I always had a rule to not take it once it was dark - mainly at the advice of locals


I used it for a year and a half pre pandemic. Every working day. Midtown to Sandy Springs and back home in the evenings. No problems. A lot of early career professionals choose it. Even ppl working in downtown at senior positions choose MARTA. They drive to the nearest suburb station and take the train. On weekends, busses and trains offer a convenient way to get to parks, cafes, stadium in the inner city. No concerns. Car is great to have for weekend getaways to hillside and lakes for enjoyment in areas north of Atlanta. I've even grocery shopped thru MARTA, that's a bit of a hassle but requires some getting used to. Car is definitely convenient to get to cheaper big box stores in outskirts.


Marta is great. Better than wmata in dc in my opinion. How ever I’m originally from Atl and have been using Marta since middle school so I may be more comfortable for that reason. Yes obviously you are likely to get guys trying to talk to you if you’re a female but honestly that’s so normal lol. You just ignore them and keep doing you. I disagree with the person who said it’s bad in weekends. And I agree that the status perspective is different as well. In DC it’s very normal for professionals to use Marta. In Atl, some professionals use it but it’s mostly used by people who don’t have cars and can be looked down upon depending on the group of people. Also I hate that wmata traps you inside if you don’t have enough money. Marta on the other hand just doesn’t let you in in the first place.


Also Ive experienced the trains being late on wmata and it’s way worst than what I’ve experienced on marta. On the weekends the wait times are longer in both locations.


Thanks everyone! I definitely feel more comfortable with choosing it as a mode of transportation to get to work than I did before I asked

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