by: Tom Regan Updated:
ATLANTA - As more commuters flock to MARTA to avoid the Interstate 85 closure, the transit system said it is working with businesses near its stations to acquire more parking space for riders.
The surge in new transit riders caused a dozen MARTA parking lots to fill to capacity early Tuesday morning.
"In addition to the 1,200 parking spaces we added last Friday, we are still actively working to expand our station parking capacities as we engage with local businesses to explore additional options. The entire MARTA team is actively working to deliver a safe, convenient and cost-effective way for local travelers to get to their destinations while winning over some new daily riders in the process," said MARTA CEO and General Manager Keith Parker.
MARTA's North Springs Station parking decks were the first to fill up around 7:30 Tuesday morning.
"I'm just trying to pick someone up, and I can't find a parking space," said driver Esther Cronan.
Riders said the transit trains are also packed.
"In the mornings, especially. I think people are starting to realize the value of public transpiration." said Georgia State University student Anushah Kaisann.
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MARTA said 99 percent of its rail service was on time Tuesday morning.
Some bus riders, however, said they have to wait extra time because of traffic congestion resulting from the I-85 closure.
"It's at the point where it's really holding us back on what we have to do." said MARTA rider Mario Valentine.
MARTA encourages riders to check online for real-time updates on parking lot availability. The information is posted on MARTA's website.
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