The Metropolitan Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) moved over a half-million customers during the three-day Super Bowl weekend as massive crowds took advantage of 24-hour rail service.
Saturday marked MARTA’s busiest travel day in decades, with an estimated 270,000 rail riders, more than double the number seen on a typical Saturday. Parking lots throughout the system were filled as customers parked their cars and took transit to avoid downtown parking fees and gridlock.
“I am proud of how Team MARTA handled these record crowds,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “We set a new standard in service this weekend and we want to maintain that as we move forward as an organization.”
On Super Bowl Sunday, 155,000 customers took MARTA rail to enjoy activities downtown and see the big game. Riders were greeted by more than 600 Transit Ambassadors, positioned throughout MARTA’s 38 rail stations. These re-deployed administrative employees worked over 3,000 hours during the ten-day operational period to bring world-class customer service to residents and visitors.
MARTA Rail Operations remained flexible during the entire ten-day period of activities, adjusting service, adding trains, and even beginning 24-hour service a day earlier to accommodate the addition of a late-night concert to the event schedule.
“Our performance proved MARTA was ready,” said Chief of Rail Operations David Springstead. “We had two minor issues, one involving a trespasser near the tracks and another caused by a small fire on adjacent CSX property, where we implemented our contingency plans and minimized the service impact to our customers. On Sunday, the MARTA team worked quickly and efficiently to clear large crowds within 90 minutes of the end of the game.”
MARTA police officers were highly visible throughout the system. More than 500 sworn officers, MPD and those assisting from other agencies, worked around the clock to ensure there were no public safety issues.
“MARTA’s success during the Super Bowl was the result of hard work and preparation over the past two years,” said MARTA Police Chief Wanda Y. Dunham. “Our partnerships with other transit agencies, as well as, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies ensured the safety and security of our passengers for one of the world’s largest sporting events.”
MARTA has been the major transit provider for a string of large-scale sporting events, including three Super Bowls, the 1996 Olympic Games, and most recently, the MLS Cup where the city’s newest sports franchise, Atlanta United, won its first championship.