Public transport in Atlanta
Many of the main spots in the centre of Atlanta are easily accessible via the rail system, which is run by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). The city is extremely spread out and MARTA makes an “X” through the centre with one leg running north/south and the other running east/west. One journey costs around USD 2.50, with day passes costing USD 9.
Having said this, the suburban areas of Atlanta are virtually impossible to reach via the rail system. There is the option of using the MARTA bus system, but for those who are not familiar with the timetables and routes, they can be extremely complicated to get to grips with. The system has 91 lines which covers more than 1,000 miles! Due to the unreliability of the public transport in Atlanta, it is considered to be very much a driving city.
Atlanta by car
Driving in Atlanta is said to be an experience. It is extremely helpful to have use of a car if you wish to travel to somewhere that is outside of MARTA’s range. However, there are scarce parking facilities available throughout the city.
The city is extremely difficult to navigate due to the fact that many roads are one way, frequently change name and sometimes several even have the same name! If you do decide to drive in Atlanta, make sure you have a good GPS to help you.
Taxis and car services
Attempting to hail a taxi in Atlanta is virtually impossible because there are not many available on the streets. Many taxis position themselves outside of hotels and the airport and charge flat rate fares and prices for additional passengers. Outside of the business district, taxis charge by the meter and are often very expensive.
It is often a good idea to book a car in advance to make sure that you get where you’re going on time. Car companies such as ATL car service allow you to pay your rate in advance and do not rely on meters. Your drop-off and pick-up can be anywhere in the state of Georgia and they offer an on time guarantee. Therefore, you will be able to travel much further outside the limits of the MARTA and have a more reliable service.
Using car services in Atlanta also means that you can be pretty certain that the drivers will know their way around and are used to the Atlanta driving style!
By bike or foot
Taxi services are extremely useful in Atlanta because it is not considered to be a walking city. Although there are some pedestrianised areas, most of the main parts of the city are fairly spread out and therefore not accessible via foot.
Attempting to tackle Atlanta via bike is also to be avoided because due to the heavily congested streets, drivers are often not aware of bikes on the road. However, there are currently plans to change the old rail tracks into a cycle path that will go around the whole city. Perhaps in the future, we will see Atlanta change into a biking city.
Although getting around Atlanta may seem like a daunting experience at first, don’t be put off! Now that you are aware of possible difficulties, there are lots of wonderful places to explore that make the hassle of transport worth it!