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Unread 09-12-2011, 08:54 PM
 
90 posts, read 61,215 times
Reputation: 24
Default Xpress bus users - tell me about your commutes!

We expect to move to Atlanta in December. Ideally, we want to find housing that allows my husband to walk or bike to a MARTA station. Knowing that we may not be able to find that (we also have 2 dogs, 2 kids who will be in public school, and about $1500/mo budget for housing), however, we are trying to identify other places to live that will allow my husband to avoid the cost and aggravation of long driving commutes to Downtown (Five Points/GSU).

Which brings me to the Xpress bus, one of the options for commuting should we end up in the sub- or exurbs.

If you ride Xpress, please share your experiences with it. Is it reliable? Comfortable? What do you like most/least?

TIA!
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Unread 09-12-2011, 09:33 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,095 posts, read 19,616,091 times
Reputation: 4567
Reliable? Yes, usually on time and the buses don't seem to have a problem breaking down, etc.

Comfortable? Depends. Some of the lines use commuter style buses, while others like the Cobb routes, use many of their local CCT buses (city buses) which have more traditional harder seats. Others may be able to comment further on it, but the buses do vary a bit.

Traditionally, transit outside of the Perimeter can be kind of iffy, though. For example, CCT tends to change/cancel routes every so often, and Gwinnett Transit has done that a couple of times as well. Xpress has been more stable, but they lost some funding with the last Governor and hit some hot water. If the new voluntary transit tax passes with voters in a few months, then they stand to get an infusion of money which will stabilize their budget. In other words, MARTA rail is rail and it's most likely not going anywhere - suburban bus routes (even Xpress) can be changed on a whim and via budget issues, so I would not base a home buy just on where an Xpress route is, as after you buy your home it could change.

But as it stands now, many people who use it do seem to have overall positive comments about it.
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Unread 09-13-2011, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
736 posts, read 494,877 times
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I used to take the Xpress bus from downtown to Woodstock/Canton in Cherokee County. It was definitely reliable and on-time. The buses are large, reasonably new coach-style buses with plush seats, and are kept clean - much nicer than your average city bus. The heat and A/C work fine. I took the 5:45 a.m. bus and never felt unsafe, even in the darkest winter months. One day I rode the bus home in a snowstorm, and it took >2 hours, but got us all there in one piece.

What I liked the most, other than not spending $400/month on gas, was the peace and quiet. I could read a book, play a video game or listen to music (on headphones of course) and not worry about traffic. It gave me some quiet time to wake up in the morning and to unwind in the evening. If the bus isn't too full, you can spread out across 2 seats and really relax.

What I liked least was the time - it often takes longer than driving. From a distant suburb like Canton it can easily take 1.5 hours on a bad traffic day - and then I still had to walk a few blocks to work / drive 10 miles home. So door-to-door, it was at least a 2-hour trip twice a day.
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Unread 09-13-2011, 07:05 PM
 
876 posts, read 984,785 times
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Most people I talk to that use the Xpress bus do like it. Usually it goes from places like Cumming, Acworth and so on all the way to Downtown Atlanta. They are mostly limited to going to Downtown and not much elsewhere. I never used it myself, but they generally run during rush hour times. Mostly I hear good, not much complaining. Just keep in mind, they could face cutbacks, as Greg mentioned above. That is the only true caveat to consider for outer burbs.
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Unread 09-13-2011, 07:20 PM
 
90 posts, read 61,215 times
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Thanks, all! I hadn't thought of the budget issues - thanks especially for that insight.
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Unread 09-13-2011, 07:25 PM
 
734 posts, read 514,369 times
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I love taking the Xpress bus from Gwinnett (Discover Mills in Duluth). Always reliable, comfortable, safe, quiet. It goes into Atlanta Monday through Friday. I don't think they would ever cancel this route---it's way too popular!
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Unread 09-14-2011, 12:23 PM
 
727 posts, read 473,263 times
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while budget might be an issue, if i were you i would look into decatur. good schools good community and easy acces to a blue line marta station that would give you a direct connection to both georgia state and five points stations. Trains on that line run every 15 minutes and are pretty reliable.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 12:36 PM
 
90 posts, read 61,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StAubin View Post
while budget might be an issue, if i were you i would look into decatur. good schools good community and easy acces to a blue line marta station that would give you a direct connection to both georgia state and five points stations. Trains on that line run every 15 minutes and are pretty reliable.
Decatur definitely is our first choice. We really hope to find something there, but with two dogs, I'm concerned that we may not be able to find an affordable rental home. Ex-urbs are our backup plan.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 02:42 PM
 
47 posts, read 50,910 times
Reputation: 76
You all need to pass the Penny Tax so a heavy-rail line can be implemented and replace a good number of the Xpress bus routes!
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