Tucker to upgrade seven MARTA bus stops
By David Pendered
Tucker has approved a program to provide concrete pads and seating at seven MARTA bus stops in the second phase of an effort to improve the experience of transit riders as they wait for a bus.
The city is to pay for the facilities. These seven stops do not meet MARTA’s criteria for the transit agency to provide amenities for waiting passengers, Ken Hildebrandt, Tucker’s city engineer, said at the Jan. 11 meeting of the Tucker City Council.
“None of them qualified for [MARTA funding] and most are on a state route, so we had to go through DOT [Georgia Department of Transportation] to get a permit to do them on a state route,” Hildebrant said. “On this phase, there is no funding from MARTA. This is strictly a city project where we install pads and benches and Simme-Seats.”
MARTA has provided assistance to improve bus stops in the first phase of the program, Hildebrandt said.
Hildebrant said MARTA assured the city that it has no plans to discontinue service at these bus stops. Service cutbacks by MARTA remain a concern as the system responds to changing ridership patterns during the pandemic.
The Tucker City Council voted unanimously on Jan. 11 to award a contract for $33,324.75 to Ligniappe Development Co. The company completed the previous phase of pads and seating, Hildebrandt said. One other bid was received for the current round of work, in the amount of $38,870, from Greenheart Enterprises, according to city records.
The task begins with installation of a concrete pad, so riders don’t have to stand in mud or a soggy surface while waiting for a bus in wet weather. Then either a bench or Simme-Seat is installed. Simme-Seats are wide enough to provide a place to sit but not lie down, to prevent people from sleeping at bus stops.
MARTA bus stops at the following locations are to be upgraded with the following facilities: Lawrenceville Highway at Hugh Howell Road, pad and bench; Hugh Howell Road at Fuller Way, pad and bench; Lawrenceville Highway at Lee Way, pad and bench; 4375 Lawrenceville Highway, pad and bench; Lawrenceville Highway at Woodbriar Circle, Simme-Seat; Lawrenceville Highway at North Royal Atlanta Drive, Simme-Seat, and East Ponce de Leon Ave at Orchard Park Drive, install bench on existing pad.
Tucker Councilmember Virginia Rece said she supports the city’s program to enhance rider experience at MARTA bus stops. Tucker is a transit hub because it’s at the end of many bus routes, she said.
“We’re clearly a transportation hub,” Rece said. “I’m hoping to get more shelters. I think this is a really great project.”
Tucker Councilmember Anne Lerner said she’s concerned about keeping the bus stops tidy.
“I want us to look at a long-term solution for keeping bus stops well maintained and clean,” Lerner said. “We’re doing this and it’s the right thing to do. I want to make sure we have a long-term solution to providing a nice and safe benefit to our community as a whole.”