Atlanta: Transportation

Approaching the City

Often referred to as Atlanta's number-one economic asset, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been distinguished as "the world's busiest passenger airport." The huge, ultramodern facility, only 10 miles from downtown on 4,700 acres of land, is served by 25 passenger airlines that fly non-stop or one-stop to more than 200 national and international destinations along with 19 cargo airlines. Terminals are connected by an automated underground train system. General aviation facilities in the Atlanta area number 19 (including Hartsfield-Jackson).

Three major interstates—I-75, I-20, and I-85—route traffic into and out of Atlanta, making it one of the leading interstate highways centers in the nation.

Amtrak provides passenger rail service to Atlanta; travelers can go west to New Orleans (via Birmingham, Alabama) or east to Washington, D.C. (via Charlotte, North Carolina). Greyhound has limited service into and out of the city at the Amtrak station.

Traveling in the City

Atlanta can present a challenge to drivers for several reasons. For instance, the city is not laid out in a grid pattern, so there are few rectangular blocks or square intersections. Five main streets converge downtown in an area known as Five Points; these streets roughly divide the city into geographic quadrants (northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest). Further complicating matters is the fact that more than 30 avenues, lanes, drives, and other thoroughfares in Atlanta contain the word "Peachtree," but only Peachtree Street is truly a main road.

Public transportation in Atlanta is operated by the train- and bus-based Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, or MARTA.