MARTA Makes Temporary Bus Service Modifications
Majority of Routes Operate on Saturday Schedule; MARTAConnect Available for Early Morning Commuters
MARTA has implemented temporary bus service modifications to address a shortage of bus operators. All 113 current bus routes are operational, with the majority operating on a Saturday schedule.
The following routes will operate on a weekday schedule: 5, 39, 71, 73, 78, 83, 89, 110, 121, 142, 143, 148, 186, 196, 221, 295, and 825. All other routes will follow Saturday schedules on weekdays starting Dec. 18.
MARTA is offering an Uber and Lyft discount through its MARTAConnect program to address early morning gaps in service. Customers may receive up to $15 off Uber or Lyft trips in MARTA’s service area Monday through Friday from 4 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. We will monitor the impacts of the service and adjust the discount mid-January. For information on how to claim an Uber or Lyft discount visit www.itsmarta.com.
Similar to many industries right now, MARTA is dealing with staff shortages due to COVID-19. Recruitment has not kept pace with attrition, and some employees are refusing to get vaccinated or submit weekly test results per MARTA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, leading to more vacancies. Absenteeism among remaining operators is high, resulting in cancelled routes or last-minute schedule changes that impact service reliability.
“We have to provide reliable service, it’s that simple,” said MARTA Deputy General Manager of Operations Collie Greenwood. “Adjusting our service schedule was a difficult decision, but a necessary one so our customers can count on their bus to be there. We expect to return to our regular service soon and we ask that customers remain patient as we work to hire qualified bus operators.”
MARTA budgets for 1,366 full-time bus operators and currently has approximately 1,179 on staff, representing a 14 percent deficit. MARTA is actively recruiting bus operators through every available channel and holding monthly job fairs to bring those numbers up. Additionally, MARTA is offering a $3,000 sign on bonus for bus operators and journeyman bus technicians. The next bus operations job fair is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 8, at 9 a.m. at MARTA headquarters. Apply to join the MARTA team here MARTA (itsmarta.com).
Also, the following bus routes have routing changes: 12, 27, 89, 121, 194, and 196. This is part of MARTA’s routine route adjustment and is not associated with the switch to a Saturday schedule.