MARTA to restore nearly 60 bus routes suspended during pandemic

ATLANTA — MARTA will restore 58 bus routes that have been suspended during the pandemic later this month.

On April 24, the transportation agency will reopen the routes after completing the installation of state-of-the-art air filtration and purifications systems on all buses. MARTA will also have support from the federal government to enforce mask-wearing.

MARTA suspended 70 of its 110 bus routes on April 20 as the pandemic intensified. Only 12 routes have been reinstated since.

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“We understand the reduction in bus routes created a hardship for many of our customers, and we are appreciative of their patience as we balanced providing a service with protecting public health,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “Public transit by its very nature goes against social distancing and by placing all 540 buses in our fleet on a reduced number of routes a year ago, we were able to provide more room for our customers and hopefully slow the spread of the virus.”

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The new air filtering systems “eliminate airborne pathogens deliver clean air every 75 seconds.” Buses will also be disinfected every 24 hours and cleaned mid-service. Plastic shields around bus operators will remain in place and free masks will be available on board.

In the next few weeks, MARTA will update digital and print bus schedules, remove signage about closed bus stops and assign routes to operators.

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