U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Georgia > Atlanta
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-23-2015, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Vinings
5,940 posts, read 2,902,450 times
Reputation: 3178

Advertisements

How do you think we could make the MARTA bus more popular, more useful, and higher ridership in most of metro ATL? Among all people of all colors and walks of life and etc.

As far as my ideas, I feel like if they ditched the current route model, and replaced it with a bunch of simple express routes, connecting 1 designated bus station somewhere (like a dense job center area or a park&ride or a sports stadium), to a train station, with no other stops, that would get a lot more people to ride it daily.

And maybe in combo also with some small scope, limited stop, express circulator loop routes, like a circle loop that goes from Dunwoody station for example, with only 3 or 4 key stops at the main large office buildings in the area, then right back to the station. And those stops would not just be a post in the ground with a sign on it, but very designated, with enhanced shelter and seating and lighting.

What are your thoughts on how the game could be majorly changed with the MARTA bus? How to get people to get over the whole negative stigma that is attached to it for many?

Including also if you have any thoughts on how/if designated transit lanes along the roads and streets could work (and be enforced), and how to convince people and the GDOT that we should implement such a system.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-23-2015, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Just outside of McDonough, Georgia
1,043 posts, read 799,629 times
Reputation: 1251
Well, the first issue is the routes themselves, as well as the frequency. Buses get stuck in traffic, and there's no easy way to see when a bus is coming. The latter can be addressed with the same technology used by some other transit systems as well as some of our local college campuses: a realtime bus tracking system. As for the former, MARTA is in the process of reviewing routes to determine how bus routes should be reconfigured within its three-county service area. I hope that MARTA will add more express bus stops, and maybe even look at trying BRT along major roadways like Buford Highway. (The first crack at BRT along Memorial Dr. in 2010 was a failure, but with much better management at the helm, maybe MARTA will get it right this time.)

For high-profile stops, such as those along major arterial roads, the bus shelters can be retrofitted with LED screens displaying when the next bus is scheduled to arrive. The data in the screens can be populated with information from the aforementioned realtime bus tracking system.

MARTA's adding WiFi to buses (cqholt says that rollout is already occurring,) which would provide more convenience to passengers by allowing them to surf the internet and/or get work done while on the bus. Good move in my opinion.

- skbl17
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-23-2015, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Saigon
145 posts, read 106,665 times
Reputation: 122
The marta app gives you a real time map of buses on any particular route... just wanted to add that. carry on.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-23-2015, 06:24 PM
bu2
 
8,968 posts, read 5,658,755 times
Reputation: 3529
I don't think it helps when you let ambulance chasers put their picture all over the bus and have you paint it pink.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-23-2015, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Saigon
145 posts, read 106,665 times
Reputation: 122
Idk... I think bus transit is what it is... unless we have dedicated BRT lanes (by no means any regular driver can access) I think there will always be struggle with the bus system... even with 'increased' frequency.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-23-2015, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,401 posts, read 2,726,205 times
Reputation: 2159
Quote:
Originally Posted by rselah25 View Post
The marta app gives you a real time map of buses on any particular route... just wanted to add that. carry on.
This is correct, we have the app already to tell you when the next bus will show up, where it is now, and how long until the ones after that get to your stop. That is all in real time and is really useful in so far as you know when to step out, when to walk to the stop, etc.


As far as improving the bus routes / frequencies, Pretty much everything I wanted to say has been said. I am looking forward to the bus route re-evaluations.

I would love it if we had more 'local transit centers', where high(er)-frequency, and high(er) capacity routes move between. These can, and should, of course, include the train stations, but there should also be separate 'stations' where these routes overlap, and where maybe more local neighborhood buses start and end at.

Of course, buses will still get stuck in traffic, which I'm not too worried about with the local services. I would like a serious effort on MARTA's behalf at getting dedicated lanes up for, at least, a year's trial of their effectiveness on long-range bus routes.

I would also love for MARTA to pitch actual BRT plans for their highest capacity routes, though I wouldn't expect this until after the bus audit is done.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-23-2015, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,244 posts, read 4,374,197 times
Reputation: 2723
Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
I don't think it helps when you let ambulance chasers put their picture all over the bus and have you paint it pink.
Yup. Instant trashy. Wish they would stop doing that, even if it meant less revenue. Sooooooo trashy.

MARTA would do well to reach out to this guy to redo their routes - Human Transit
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-23-2015, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Vinings
5,940 posts, read 2,902,450 times
Reputation: 3178
Quote:
Originally Posted by skbl17 View Post
Well, the first issue is the routes themselves, as well as the frequency. Buses get stuck in traffic, and there's no easy way to see when a bus is coming. The latter can be addressed with the same technology used by some other transit systems as well as some of our local college campuses: a realtime bus tracking system. As for the former, MARTA is in the process of reviewing routes to determine how bus routes should be reconfigured within its three-county service area. I hope that MARTA will add more express bus stops, and maybe even look at trying BRT along major roadways like Buford Highway. (The first crack at BRT along Memorial Dr. in 2010 was a failure, but with much better management at the helm, maybe MARTA will get it right this time.)

For high-profile stops, such as those along major arterial roads, the bus shelters can be retrofitted with LED screens displaying when the next bus is scheduled to arrive. The data in the screens can be populated with information from the aforementioned realtime bus tracking system.

MARTA's adding WiFi to buses (cqholt says that rollout is already occurring,) which would provide more convenience to passengers by allowing them to surf the internet and/or get work done while on the bus. Good move in my opinion.

- skbl17
All good points there, thanks!

I think they should review the entire philosophy of what a transit bus is and should be. I think it should be less of a way of getting from every block to every block, and more of a link from one area/location to another, Point A to Point B, that only stops at those points. Like, permanent nodes, in a network. Smaller versions of the train stations. Less # of stops, but each one a big deal, covering all the stuff in the area.

That's one reason why I think people prefer cars, because no matter how bad the traffic is and how long it takes, it's always an express route. It takes you from where you start to where you are going, with no unnecessary stops or delays.

Like, imagine if the bus route that covered Buckhead along Peachtree Rd, was a simple loop with only 7 stops: Arts Center Station, Amtrak, Piedmont Hospital/Beltline, Wesley Rd, Buckhead Village, Buckhead Station (Red), and Brookhaven Station (Gold). Then it just loop back around, and just do that in a loop back and forth all day, with nice and high frequency (add in more buses during rush hours). And the 4 stops that are not MARTA train stations, would be dedicated stations that look like the streetcar stops, with a kiosk to buy or refill your breeze card while waiting (to speed up the boarding), and with plenty of seating and well lighted, and with an official name and sign for the stop, and even represented on the official MARTA map. How perfect would that be? I bet people would suddenly ride the bus, just for that reason alone. It's a line on the map, and its few stops are named dots on the line. I know I would.

I guess basically I'm saying, make every route in the system a BRT line. Even regardless of any dedicated bus lanes or not. At least have a signal priority system that always keeps the light green ahead of the bus, so in theory there would be very little traffic stoppage.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-23-2015, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Vinings
5,940 posts, read 2,902,450 times
Reputation: 3178
I mean, for so so cheap, almost overnight, with very little or no construction costs- with a BRT network, the official MARTA transit map could go from a lame plus sign, to an intricate web of connecting dots and colored lines. Thick lines for the train routes, and thinner lines for the BRT routes.

Yeah, it would maybe make some people walk a little further than the old system, because it would stop less. But I think it would be so worth it and I think it would pick up enough new riders to be worth it.

The old school local bus route system just doesn't make any sense, and most of the bus stops are simple poles in the ground that don't encourage people to stand there and don't make people feel very safe. They should overhaul it all with a new 21st century transit model.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-24-2015, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,147 posts, read 16,140,747 times
Reputation: 4894
MARTA hired the same company that redesigned Houston's METRO bus system, so let the professionals do their research and give them a chance to present their results.
Increased headways are great, but how to do it without spending more money?
Decrease the number of bus stops. This is good and bad, it allows buses to travel faster, but makes riders walk further. Having key stops close to destinations, like retail centers, retirement communities, schools, etc.
Signal priority. As Atlanta begins to invest it it's out dated signals how much more would it cost to add the necessary software to detect buses/streetcars for signal priority?
MARTA already has a live arrival app and majority of Americans have smartphones. Major bus stops need LED screen displaying the next arrival, but not every stop.
Also, MARTA has already started it's WiFi pilot program on buses. That is a good way to attract demand riders.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Georgia > Atlanta
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top