December 14, 2021

Majority of Routes to Run on Saturday Schedule; MARTAConnect Available for Early Morning Commuters

ATLANTA - The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will make temporary modifications to bus service beginning Saturday, Dec. 18, to address a shortage of bus operators. All 113 current bus routes will remain 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 a rideshare discount through its MARTAConnect program to address early morning gaps in service. Beginning Monday, Dec. 20, customers may receive up to $15 off rideshare 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, demand for rideshare, and our ability to increase routes and adjust the discount mid-January. For information on how to claim a rideshare 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. All new hires must be vaccinated against COVID-19. Apply to join the MARTA team here MARTA (itsmarta.com)

Also beginning Dec. 18, the following bus routes will 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. 

For information on the all the bus service adjustments visit MARTA (itsmarta.com). Bus route schedules will be updated on www.itsmarta.com and the MARTA On the Go app beginning  Saturday, Dec. 18th.



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