The Joys of Public Transportation

by John Evans

image by flickr user sean_marshall

image by flickr user sean_marshall

By now we have all lived in Atlanta for at least a month and a half, and even those who are new have learned one thing: traffic in Atlanta is rough. Coming in for those 9 a.m. classes or leaving around 5 p.m. is guaranteed to cause frustration when we get behind the wheel. I have even heard rumors that it has taken some people over an hour to get out of T-deck before even dealing with the traffic on the road. Fortunately for me, I am always at home relaxing an hour after I leave the building. What is my secret? MARTA.

For those of you who don’t know, our new building is right beside the Peachtree Center MARTA station.  From the front doors of the building, all you have to do is turn right, cross over John Wesley Dobbs, walk across the Peachtree Center pavilion, and you’re there. After taking what might be the longest escalator in the world down to the platform, you are on the train and on your way. Even better, most stations that are not close to downtown have free daily parking if you want to finish your commute in your car, and all stations have bus routes that could take you home. For people living further out, there are connecting services with Gwinnett County and Cobb Community Transit.

MARTA is also easy on the budget, which as law students most of us could use. If you are on campus 5 days a week with an average 4 weeks in a month, parking with a budget card will cost you $70 a month. A monthly MARTA pass is only $61 a month if you buy the pass from GSU before the 15th of the previous month. Added to this savings less gas used and less wear on your car, and we are talking serious money.

Those commutes stuck in traffic can be stressful. When you hop on MARTA, you can watch movies or catch up on social media on your phone, read a book for fun, or if you’re really ambitious get some of those cases read.  I’ll admit that occasionally there are some interesting people on MARTA, but this really is more the exception then the rule, and most rides are completed in peace.

Now, MARTA is not for everyone. Some people don’t live near a bus or train station, some people have worked their schedules around so that they avoid rush hour traffic, and others may need a car downtown for another purpose but for many of us, use of Atlanta’s public transit system may be a good way to save time and money while reducing our daily stress.

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