Friday, December 14, 2001

MARTA plans cuts, sets hearings


MARTA's financial straits could translate into fewer transportation option for South Fulton residents.

The transportation agency has scheduled three public hearings next week on changes it wants to implement to help keep it financially solvent.

The biggest impact for South Fulton residents could be the elimination of several bus routes.

MARTA wants to eliminate 14 regular weekday routes, 22 limited service weekday routes, 34 Saturday services and 65 Sunday and holiday services.

In South Fulton, the number 20 College Park would be eliminated Saturday and Sunday, along with the 180 Fairburn/Palmetto routes on the weekends.

Other routes axed would include the 190 Shannon Mall/Fairburn on Sunday and the 173 South Fulton/West Gate on the weekdays.

Marta officials said the routes were chosen because they are some of the highest cost-per-passenger and lowest passenger-per-hour routes.

Additionally, MARTA wants to change the fee on its monthly TransCards program. The discounted student card would increase from $37 to $40 and the price of the discounted monthly TransCard jumps from $42 to $49.88.

The final cut at the agency would be changes to the rail service schedule. Weekday rail service would be reduced to operate every 10 minutes, instead of every eight minutes, while Saturday rail service would run every 15 minutes instead of every 10 minutes.

Residents who want to speak out on the changes have three opportunities next week. The public hearings are:

F Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in DeKalb County at the Maloof Auditorium in Decatur.

F Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. at MARTA headquarters on Piedmont Road in Atlanta.

F Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at Atlanta City Council chambers in downtown Atlanta.


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