MARTA Prepares For More Riders Due To I-85 Collapse

With I-85 out of commission, MARTA's preparing for more riders.
With I-85 out of commission, MARTA's preparing for more riders.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE
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With Interstate 85 out of commission, MARTA’s preparing for more riders, including many who may be taking transit to work for the first time.

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To help out, volunteers will be at stations Monday and Tuesday morning, answering questions. They’re with the group MARTA Army, which is like a “friends of MARTA” association.

“We have volunteers throughout the MARTA network helping first-time users to purchase MARTA Breeze cards and navigate the system,” said Simon Berrebi, executive director of MARTA Army.

He said MARTA asked them to come help out at a couple mornings this week.

On Friday, MARTA CEO Keith Parker said ridership was up about 25 percent.

“We see MARTA as a part of the overall transportation network, and when one piece begins to fall a bit, the other can sort of rise,” he said at a news conference on Friday.

And, since the city was struggling with traffic even before this mess, maybe some people will stick with transit.

“A lot of people are going to discover, ‘Wait a minute, hey, this is a pretty good alternative,” said Colonel Mark McDonough, commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

The MARTA Army volunteers will be at stations all over town, wearing vests that say “MARTA.”