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Thought Leader Transit

MARTA Counts Down Clayton County Bus Launch

Exactly one week before MARTA’s first jurisdictional expansion since its inception, the agency invited Clayton County residents to a ribbon-cutting ceremony and Meet MARTA Day at the Riverdale Town Center. The event included remarks from U.S. Congressman David Scott, Clayton County Commission Chairman Jeffrey E. Turner, Riverdale Mayor Evelyn Wynn-Dixon, MARTA Board Chairman Robert L. Ashe III and GM/CEO Keith T. Parker.

MARTA motorcade rolls into Clayton County for a pre-launch event in advance of March 21 bus service.  Photo credit: Adam Shumaker

MARTA motorcade rolls into Clayton County for a pre-launch event in advance of March 21 bus service. Photo credit: Adam Shumaker

The festivities kicked off with a 14-vehicle motorcade along MARTA Bus Route 196, one of three routes that will commence March 21.

In addition to the special guests and local elected officials, Clayton County community leaders attended the standing room only event as well as residents and MARTA staff.

In his remarks, U.S. Congressman David Scott (D-GA 13th District) praised the residents of Clayton County, his constituents, for overwhelmingly supporting the Nov. 2014 MARTA ballot measure. Rep. Scott has long been a champion of public transit and endorsed a 2010 nonbinding referendum for Clayton County to join MARTA.

He pledged to push for federal support of a commuter rail service and said, “This MARTA partnership will be an economic magnet for Clayton County.”

Congressman David Scott addresses crowd at event marking the launch of bus service in Clayton County. Photo credit: Adam Shumaker

Congressman David Scott addresses crowd at event marking the launch of bus service in Clayton County. Photo credit: Adam Shumaker

In Nov. 2014 Clayton County residents voted by a three to one margin to join MARTA.

MARTA Congressman from Planning and Customer Service were on hand to provide trip assistance for soon-to-be MARTA customers residing in Clayton County.

The three inaugural bus routes will feed into MARTA rail stations, providing free, seamless transfers to rail service in Fulton and DeKalb counties. Before the year’s end, MARTA will provide eight local bus routes and two flex bus circulators.

Parker pledged, “Once the buses start rolling, we will keep listening to our customers and make the necessary tweaks and changes to ensure our customers get the very best ridership experience possible.”

A Clayton County resident poses questions to a MARTA Congressman about new bus routes. Photo credit: Adam Shumaker

A Clayton County resident poses questions to a MARTA Congressman about new bus routes. Photo credit: Adam Shumaker

Members of the MARTA Police Department were on hand to introduce themselves to Clayton County residents. MARTA is working closely with local law enforcement partners to ensure the safety and security of its customers. The agency will open a mini-police precinct in the county and has assigned 13 officers to monitor Clayton County bus routes.

Local elected officials, community activists and members of MARTA’s Board of Directors cut the celebratory ribbon in front of a new MARTA bus.

“I’m from Atlanta and grew up riding MARTA,” said Ashe, the Board Chairman. “Four months after the November referendum, I am still overwhelmed by the vote that left no doubt in anyone’s mind that MARTA is needed in Clayton County and is here to stay. This is a watershed event for MARTA, for Clayton County and for metro Atlanta.”

MARTA and Clayton County Police Officers talk to local high school students. Photo credit: Adam Shumaker

MARTA and Clayton County Police Officers talk to local high school students. Photo credit: Adam Shumaker

Dignitaries cut the ribbon to celebrate the upcoming launch of MARTA service into Clayton County. Photo credit: Adam Shumaker

Dignitaries cut the ribbon to celebrate the upcoming launch of MARTA service into Clayton County. Photo credit: Adam Shumaker

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