MARTA Sees Ridership Increase

ATLANTA – From July to December 2006, MARTA’s passenger counts grew by 7.2 percent and passenger revenue increased by 3.8 percent over the same period last year.   Nationwide, public transit ridership grew by 2.9 percent from 2005 to 2006.

“MARTA is working hard to improve service and attract more riders to the system and we are pleased to see the positive results of our efforts,” said General Manager Richard McCrillis. “We hope to sustain this trend through the multiple renewal and improvement efforts we have underway – including our rail car rehabilitation project, increased service levels, and heightened focus on cleanliness, customer service, and security.”

MARTA’s increase is attributed to a variety of factors. The new Breeze fare collection system is now installed system-wide, allowing MARTA to more accurately record passenger counts and collect fares as a result of new, dependable fare collection equipment.

The system has also restored nearly 40 percent of bus service levels that were cut in recent years during times of economic hardship. In addition, the population in MARTA’s service area continues to grow.

In-fill development and projects near rail stations, including the Authority’s aggressive Transit Oriented Development program make transit more accessible and easier to use, officials said.

Finally, gas prices continue to rise – encouraging customers to leave their cars behind and take advantage of MARTA’s $1.75 fare and various discount programs designed for frequent users.

– Special to News Wire