Public Transportation in Atlanta, Georgia

City Guide / Atlanta

Your Guide to Atlanta Public Transportation

By Landing | May 13, 2021

If you’re planning a move to Atlanta, Georgia, you’re likely looking for the easiest way to get yourself to its many workplaces, historical spots, cultural excursions, and even film locations. Luckily, downtown Atlanta offers great public transportation to make both your commutes and day trips simple and easy. 

Between Atlanta’s rail line, bus routes, and street cars, you’ll be able to get where you need to go hassle-free (for the most part—after all, this is public transportation we’re talking about). Fortunately, with Atlanta’s consistent public transit schedule, you should easily be able to plan out your trips on your own terms. Here are a few simple tips and tricks to help you navigate the Atlanta public transportation: 

Picking your neighborhood

Like all major cities, there are plenty of different hubs and neighborhoods within Atlanta, and where you settle down will determine how you navigate the public transportation system. Depending on where you live, you’ll have different local bus service or rail line options into town. Downtown Atlanta is surrounded by I-285, a major highway that many people use every day. Locals will choose to live either inside the loop or on the outside in the suburban areas of Atlanta.

Do your research and see which community and apartment options will be best for you. While the cost of living may be a little lower if you choose to live outside of the city, your commute may be slightly longer. But don’t worry, train stations still exist outside the loop if you decide to go that route (see what we did there?).

Navigating MARTA

The main rail line in Atlanta is called the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, or MARTHA. The system is made up of shuttles, trains, and buses that can take you all over the city and its surrounding neighborhoods. You can even jump on the MARTA rail line to get to and from the airport. This rail system gives you the freedom and flexibility to travel around Atlanta without having to curse aloud at rush hour traffic or deal with other annoying car problems. 

Rides on MARTA are reasonably affordable. Fares cost only $2.50 per ride, so jumping on the shuttle doesn’t mean breaking the bank. You can also invest in a Breeze card and prepay for a certain number of rides, or you can get a weekly or monthly pass that will allow you unlimited rides on any type of MARTA transportation. These passes can save you a ton of money if you know you’ll be taking public transit daily.

Introducing the Atlanta Streetcar

A newer form of transportation within metro Atlanta is the Atlanta Streetcar. While the Atlanta Streetcar has fewer stops and serves a smaller section of the city, it can still be a great way to get around town. Riders follow a loop around downtown Atlanta with 12 different stops along the way. You can even board the streetcar to get to the MARTA stations at the heart of town.

A biker city

If public transportation on our wheels just isn’t your style, great news—Atlanta is also a great city for bikers and walkers. The Atlanta BeltLine gives bikers a safe and open space to share ridership and travel differently. So, if you enjoy getting your exercise in and biking to your destinations, Atlanta makes the option both fun and easy. You’ll also be within walking distance of great restaurants and cultural landmarks once you’re in the heart of downtown. 

Whether you decide to take a rail line, bus, bike, or streetcar, Atlanta offers plenty of ways to get where you need to go so you can make the most of your time there.

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About the author

Landing

Fred may be the world's slowest typist and struggle to hold a pen, but he has mastered how to pursue a more flexible lifestyle throughout his airborne adventures around the U.S. Whether you're looking for more information before migrating to a new city or want to find an easier way to rent a nest—erm, apartment—Fred will always be here to share his best advice for where to live and how to thrive.